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Roberto Martinez blames fatigue for Everton’s struggles; have “10 cup finals” to survive


Everton’s Spanish manager Roberto Martinez shouts at his players at extra time during the English FA Cup Third Round football match replay between Everton and West Ham United at the Boleyn Ground, Upton Park, in east London, on January 13, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. NO USE WITH UNAUTHORIZED AUDIO, VIDEO, DATA, FIXTURE LISTS, CLUB/LEAGUE LOGOS OR LIVE SERVICES. ONLINE IN-MATCH USE LIMITED TO 45 IMAGES, NO VIDEO EMULATION. NO USE IN BETTING, GAMES OR SINGLE CLUB/LEAGUE/PLAYER PUBLICATIONS. (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

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Everton is in a rut and with 10 games to go Roberto Martinez’s men are in serious danger of being sucked deeper into a relegation battle.

[ RELATED: Potters pile misery on Toffees ]

On Wednesday the Toffees lost 2-0 to Stoke City as they are now without a win in six games and have lost three of their last four matches.

Speaking to the media afterwards, Martinez believes his side are struggling from fatigue and is concerned that Everton may continue to falter between now and May 24.

“I did feel that as a team we showed we had played a number of matches in a short period of time,” Martinez admitted. “The Europa League campaign is a bit obvious at the moment as it is a lot of games to play in a short period but as a club that is what we want, to play in Europe. The concern is a huge moment in the season, we have 10 games and we will treat them as finals. We are in this situation for many reasons but we are looking forward and up to get as high up in the table as we can.”

The Toffees are currently on 28 points, which is six points clear of the teams in the relegation zone, but QPR have a game in hand against Spurs this weekend which if they win, will see Everton just three points above the relegation zone. In their final 10 games they have only three of the current top seven to play -- Southampton, Manchester United and Tottenham all at home -- so the fixtures are stacked in their favor.

But can they dig themselves out of this hole in-between their Europa League last 16 clash against Dynamo Kiev in mid-March?

“The desire and wanting for the result was there but the legs couldn’t get there,” Martinez added. “We are ready to face the challenge straight on. We haven’t got the results that our performances deserve. Everyone at the club, it’s the moment to get together and make sure we finish the season strongly. We need bit of luck and momentum but it’s not been that type of season.”

There’s no doubting that Everton has the talent to survive in the Premier League as last season’s fifth-place finish and their exploits in Europe this campaign prove. However, it is not always the sides with the best players who survive, but the teams who dig deep and want it more.

Follow @JPW_NBCSports