Everton FC boss confident he won’t be adversely affected by agony drop
Roberto Martinez believes he has learned from the experience of his relegation with Wigan Athletic as he prepares for a new era at Everton.
The Spaniard takes charge of his first competitive game since taking over from David Moyes as manager when the Goodison outfit start their Premier League campaign at Norwich City.
Martinez was handed the Everton job despite taking Wigan down just days after the Latics won their first-ever major honour with FA Cup final triumph against Manchester City in May.
But the 40-year-old is confident he won’t be adversely affected by the agony of failing to avoid the drop.
“I think it’s good to carry old experiences with you,” said Martinez. “I don’t think you want to get rid of anything. You are what you are because of your experiences.
“I’m not the same person I was at the start of last season because of the experiences I’ve had and I wouldn’t like to get rid of those.
“I’m very proud of the work we did at Wigan and I’ll always have a soft spot for everything that Wigan do. But you look forward and you need to move on with experiences.”
Martinez, who took Swansea City from League One to the Championship before spending four years scrapping in the Premier League lower reaches at Wigan, readily admits he is now working with the best squad of his managerial career.
But he regards the pressure of trying to following in the footsteps of Moyes as no lesser or greater than trying to take Swansea up or keep Wigan afloat.
“The position of the manager is always the same,” said the Everton manager.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re fighting to avoid relegation, fighting to get through a period of transition or you’re fighting to win the league. Each job has its own expectations.
“If you get a blank cheque that doesn’t mean you’re going to enjoy every single game because you get the pressure of needing to win the league.
“I just see it as exactly the same. Games are won and lost by very small margins and that’s the same if you’re trying to win the league or trying to avoid relegation.
“You put yourself under exactly the same pressure to win games. As a manager you carry that kind of pressure into everything you go into.”
Martinez, however, is keen to avoid burdening his squad with any expectation, particularly as he looks to impose a new, more flexible attacking style without compromising the steel with which Everton became synonymous during the Moyes era.
“Our aim is to not lose all of the good things that we have as a team,” said the Spaniard. “I’ve said before that every time I’ve seen this group playing we’ve got a real competitive edge and you don’t want to lose that.
“August for us is not a time to set targets in terms of results or where we are going to finish. I just want to be as strong as we can from a football point of view as quick as we can but it is going to take time because we’ve got a bit of a period where we are going to have to be patient.
“But I’ve been very impressed already with the players and the manner that they’ve taken things in.
“It’s just about bridging that gap between playing in a different way and being a bit different on the pitch, that’s my objective this season – how quickly we can win football games with all these changes.”