Everton boss Roberto Martinez has backed his team to challenge all the way for a Champions League spot this season, reports talkSPORT.
The Toffees have enjoyed a memorable week, after coming away from Old Trafford with a 1-0 win in midweek, before earning a very credible draw at the Emirates, in a match which saw them outplay league leaders Arsenal for long periods.
Despite showing steady improvement over recent seasons, Everton have failed to qualify for European competition since their fifth placed finish in the 2008-09 season.
But Martinez believes this season could be different, and has backed his team to challenge for a top four spot after ‘passing the test’ against the Premier League’s elite this season.
“I’ve always said that the Champions League has to be an objective for Everton,” said the Toffees boss.
“The club has a winning history, we’ve won nine league titles in the past and we need to get that feeling back, and that brings expectation.
“Obviously we are not working with the budgets and the finances the other six top Premier League clubs are working with.
“But I’ve always felt we need to be creative enough to one day to challenge for a Champions League position. It could take one year or maybe longer, who knows, but that has to be the ultimate aim.
“This past week was a challenging week for us, going to Old Trafford and the Emirates. It was a real test of not just our quality but also our character and I think we passed the test with flying colours in both cases.
“It’s pleasing to be able to compete with these teams and we need to make sure we carry on improving”