(Reuters) – Everton must put an end to their awayday blues at Newcastle United today to keep alive their outside hopes of qualifying for next season’s Champions League, said manager Roberto Martinez.
His team have won eight successive games at Goodison Park in all competitions but have not triumphed away from home in the Premier League since December.
Sixth-placed Everton played well on their last two trips, at Tottenham Hotspur and leaders Chelsea, but failed to convert their chances and were beaten 1-0 both times.
Now facing back-to-back league games at eighth-placed Newcastle and bottom club Fulham, Martinez said his side must start converting good performances into wins to finish in the top four and claim a Champions League qualification spot.
“We need to affect those small margins in the next five away games to make sure we get as many points as we can,” Martinez told a news conference yesterday.
“The margins at Stamford Bridge and White Hart Lane were very small and we deserved a positive result.”
Everton are eight points adrift of fourth-placed Arsenal but have a game in hand and host Arsene Wenger’s side on April 6.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew will be absent as he serves the last game of his three-match stadium ban for headbutting Hull City’s David Meyler earlier this month.
His assistant John Carver takes charge while Pardew watches on TV from his office at the training ground.
“It’s given me a different perspective on watching games,” said Pardew. “I have learnt a little bit and will take that into my management.”
Pardew can return to the stadiums after Tuesday but will be forced to sit in the stands as he serves a four-game touchline ban for the Meyler incident.