Roberto Martínez shrugs off pressure and hopes FA Cup can provide relief

Manager believes Everton’s tie against West Ham could be ‘a pivotal moment’ after four successive defeats raise questions about his methods
Hull’s Jelavic deepens blues of his old side Everton

The first press conference of 2015 at Everton’s Finch Farm training ground and questions to Roberto Martínez range from whether he feels increased pressure (answer: no) to does he retain the support of the chairman, Bill Kenwright (answer: yes). This was no media hysteria; it really has reached this point for the man lauded for removing the glass ceiling from Everton’s ambitions merely seven months ago.

In June Martínez was rewarded with a new five-year contract for an outstanding debut season as Everton manager, one that yielded the club’s record points total in the Premier League era and had supporters singing about the reopening of the ‘School of Science’ given the polished performances on display. The contract was one example of Everton’s trust in their intelligent, driven young manager. Backing his plans to spend a club-record £28m on Romelu Lukaku and to construct overnight accommodation at Finch Farm were others.

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