Goodison Park form the key for Martinez

Roberto Martinez believes Goodison Park will play a vital role in Everton's quest to secure European football.

Saturday's 3-2 victory over Swansea City represented Everton's 11th Premier League success at home this season and moved them above Tottenham, who host Southampton on Sunday, into fifth place.

Goals from Leighton Baines, Romelu Lukaku and Ross Barkley secured the latest win and Martinez has stressed the importance of further home success with four league matches remaining at Goodison Park.

"The points tally is what excites me," said the Spaniard after getting the better of one of his former clubs. "At this stage of the season, with nine games to go, 54 points is a very good return.

"The table will tell us where we are at the end of the campaign. Probably to get into Europe we will need the highest points tally there has been for a few years.

"We know we need to be perfect. I see the squad is focused and I'm really excited about how far we can go this season.

"Our game in hand against Crystal Palace becomes more focal now, and then the other three games are against Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal, so you can imagine the Goodison effect is going to be vital to how well we can finish the season."

Everton had to survive a late barrage from Swansea, with goalkeeper Tim Howard saving well from Pablo Hernandez and Wilfried Bony, who had scored the visitors' first, before Ashley Williams found the net in injury time.

Martinez was thrilled to see his side hold out for victory.

"I am very, very pleased," he added. "We faced a really difficult test and to get the all-important three points is a fantastic feeling.

"We started the game well in the first 20 minutes, (but) I thought Swansea finished the half stronger and deserved their equaliser.

"(At the) start of the second half we had real intensity to get a two-goal lead. From that point we sat back a little too much, but overall (I am) pleased with the maturity we used to get a win.

"It's about winning football games, using experience during the season to get the small margins that matter in the scorelines.

"Without being at our most stylish, to get a win is very important."


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