The Spaniard says that Everton want to “win for ourselves” against Manchester City, with a top-four finish still achievable, while Phil Jagielka and Sylvain Distin could return
Everton boss Roberto Martinez has rejected suggestions that his side would either deliberately help or hinder Liverpool’s title bid when they face the Reds’ title rivals Manchester City on Saturday.
Recent reports have suggested that many Toffees supporters would be happy to lose against Manuel Pellegrini’s men if it meant that their Merseyside rivals failed in their quest to win a first league title in 24 years.
But Martinez has dismissed the idea that his players would be influenced to do anything over than try and beat City – especially as they still have a slim chance of qualifying for the Champions League themselves.
“The relationship between the two clubs in the city, over many, many years, has had incredible chapters and this would be another fascinating chapter,” said the Spaniard at his pre-match press conference.
“But I don’t think there is any doubt about the integrity of our football club towards the league and towards the competition. We are a football club that wants to win every single game we go in to and we are looking at ourselves. They are precious points for us so we can’t really afford not to give everything we’ve got for every point we’ve got left at this period.
“But helping other teams? That’s not the way we do our work. We’re just focusing on trying to win for ourselves and have real high standards in every game that we go into and represent our football club.
“We would never contemplate giving anything other than our best. We’re not coming out to do any one a favour. We have our own pride.”
The former Wigan boss also revealed that he is optimistic over Phil Jagielka’s chances of being included in the matchday squad for Saturday’s game, while Sylvain Distin could also be ready to return.