Roberto Martinez admitted he is desperate for Everton to turn their season around at Goodison and told his players: “Do it for the fans.”
The Blues are 17th in the table after a slow start and are bidding to get back on track with a much-needed first home win in the Premier League today against Aston Villa.
Martinez insisted the club’s supporters deserve something to shout about after standing by his side through a testing run of away fixtures at Anfield, Krasnodar and Old Trafford.
“We’re desperate to be home and feel the support of our fans,” he said.
“Yes it’s been a difficult period because of the amount of away games so I can only imagine the demands on the fans. They’ve been phenomenal.
“To see them at Anfield and then in Russia and Old Trafford was brilliant.
You develop a feeling that you can’t wait to get to Goodison and all share the emotions and help eachother.
“To start getting positive results, we need to get just rewards for our performances and when we have the fans behind us we are at our very best. Remember that after this home fixture we have another demanding period with more away games, so it’s the nature of this season.
“We need to have that big team mentality of being able to cope with whatever is thrown at us, but we can start by getting it right at home.”
Martinez accepts that his side have contributed to their own failings so far, but despite being much worse off position-wise than they were 12 months ago, he is not about to start re-evaluating his projections for the season.
“I still feel in the league we are still suffering from dropping four points in the two early games at Leicester and against Arsenal,” he said.
“It is not a moment to assess where we are in the league.
“It is a period where we are working to get ourselves in the best possible position before we start the final third.
“We’re taking every game slowly and for us the only concentration is Aston Villa.
“Villa is the last team you want to play at home.
“They got a very good win at Stoke – we all know how difficult it is there – and then they went to Anfield and got an impressive result there.”
Everton are finally beginning to see some light at the end of the tunnel as their lengthy injury-list begins to clear.
Martinez is hopeful over defender Seamus Coleman (thigh) and midfielders Steven Pienaar (hip) and James McCarthy (thigh) and said if none feature today they will be fit for the Europa League trip to OSC Lille next Thursday.
Martinez was relieved that his players all came through last weekend’s international fixtures unscathed.
He added: “You’re always a little caution on an international break because you have a lot of players playing elsewhere and it’s out of your hands.
“But they’ve all come through and performed well. It’s been a good period for us. We had everyone back on Thursday apart from Christian Atsu who returned on Friday.”