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Martinez praises Everton predecessors

The former Swansea City and Wigan Athletic boss secured Everton a fifth-placed finish in his debut campaign with the club, ensuring Everton's qualification for the UEFA Europa League. 

Having finished seventh and sixth in David Moyes' final two seasons, Martinez was able to continue the club's upward curve while also doing the double over his predecessor, who has since been sacked from Manchester United.

However, Martinez believes the foundations for their successful campaign were already in place, paying tribute to the squad's flexibility and will to learn. 

"I was always aware of that transition and how it had to be gradually imposed, bringing the players along," he told the Liverpool Echo. "It's been fascinating seeing how they adapted but we haven't lost anything which was put in place in the past.

"I was fortunate to arrive at a dressing room which has done a lot of good work in the past. It was important we didn't lose that.

"But at any club when you've been used to one management team for a long time you get used to their habits and it's difficult to change."

Central to Everton's growth has been the form of their younger players, including Barcelona loanee Gerard Delofeu, Ross Barkley and Romelu Lukaku. 

All three could feature at the FIFA World Cup after impressive campaigns, but Martinez feels credit must be given to the senior players within the squad.

"The key to success has been the application. As a dressing room we have a strong group dynamic," he added.

"Senior players set our standards and ways of working, and I was so impressed at how open minded and experimental our senior players were.

"That allowed the youngsters to come in and have big roles."