Everton’s under-pressure manager Roberto Martinez has called on his critics to judge him over three years, not three months.
Martinez is fighting for his future on Merseyside, with a talented Toffees squad sitting 11th in the Barclays Premier League table and coming off the back of a disheartening loss to Manchester United in the FA Cup semi-final.
The Spaniard accepts dissatisfaction from the fans, who appear to be turning away from him in large numbers, but hopes recent results will not be taken in isolation.
Having led the side to their best Premier League points tally in his first campaign, and lowered the age profile of the squad significantly by consistently trusting young talent, he believes there is enough credit in the bank to save him from the axe.
“Scrutiny I welcome and accept. I understand it completely,” he said.
“I always encourage huge expectations and as a football club we have to drive to challenge for silverware and challenge for the top four.
“When we’re not, scrutiny needs to be there.
“But it shouldn’t be scrutiny of the last two months or three months. It should be of three seasons, scrutiny about the team we’ve put together.
“The first season we had a record points tally, last season we were the last team in the British game to be knocked out of Europe, this season we made two semi-finals.
“I’m ready to fight more than ever and closer, probably, to finding a way to challenge for silverware.”
There is a sense that sections of the club’s support are past the point of no return in terms of backing the former Wigan boss, with significant protests apparently planned for Saturday’s home game against Bournemouth, but he has not given up on reconciliation.
“The message is we are all in this together,” he said.
“It’s only when you get through these difficult experiences and painful moments that you get renewed drive.
“I understand their passion. They make us the football club we are, football without passion makes no sense.”