Martinez: Everton prepared for Europa League run

After guiding his team to a fifth-placed finish and a record points haul in the Premier League, the Toffees embarks on their first European campaign in five years next season
Roberto Martinez is confident Everton can handle a congested fixture schedule next season that will include domestic and European matches.

13/2 Everton are 13/2 with bet365 to finish in the top four next season
After leading the club to a fifth-placed finish in his first campaign on Merseyside, Martinez has already begun preparations for 2014-15 and the task of juggling the Premier League and Europa League.

Everton will go straight into the group stages of Europe's secondary club competition, meaning they face a minimum of six additional fixtures compared to last season.

Martinez is not complaining, though, and says his squad will "embrace" the challenge.

"I think we are ready for it," he told the club's official website. "I am aware of the demands and I think it's important that we are aware - but that's what we wanted.

"We do want to put ourselves under massive pressure in terms of performing week in week out in every competition that we are involved in.

"We need to build on [last season] and the best possible way is pushing ourselves even further, and to do that you need the European challenge."