Daily Express

Martinez: I can beat the chop

- Paul Joyce

ROBERTO Martinez has refused to accept it is inevitable he will be sacked by Everton.

Manager Martinez is on the brink after an underwhelm­ing campaign and has demanded a reaction from his side against Sunderland following their surrender against champions Leicester on Saturday.

Yet Martinez, above, still believes he can turn his fortunes around – despite alienating players, supporters and members of the board following a run of one win in nine matches since their FA Cup quarter-final victory over Chelsea.

“In football it’s about winning games and making sure you keep pushing and seeing what you want to achieve,” he said.

“That is the manager’s job. If anyone wants to scrutinise my job, then they are allowed to do that.

“But if you are going to do it, then you don’t do it after the games since we beat Chelsea, you do it over the last three seasons and see where we are now. You have to look at the signs.

“But all that matters to me right now is the performanc­e against Sunderland. I’m very clear on that. I could be easily distracted, could lose attention and talk about next season but we want to finish this one strongly.”

Gareth Barry will return after injury and Ramiro Funes Mori will start after a threematch suspension for his dismissal in the 4-0 Merseyside derby defeat by Liverpool.

Sunderland will guarantee their Premier League status with a win, demoting Newcastle and Norwich in the process.

“It’s a huge, huge game and not just for what Sunderland are playing for,” said Martinez.

“From our point of view, we want a reaction to the Leicester defeat.”

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