Martinez: Top-four finish hinges on busy Everton schedule

Following Wednesday's clash postponement, the manager feels his squad's ability to handle the increased demands will determine the success of their season.
Everton must learn to deal with a busy fixture list to be a top-four contender in the Premier League, according to manager Roberto Martinez.

After the club's league clash with Crystal Palace was postponed on Wednesday due to high winds, Everton will have an extra game to fit into its already-busy schedule in the final three months of the season.

Martinez fully supported the decision to postpone the Palace match and believes handling the fixture congestion will show the club is a challenger for a Champions League place.

"Once you get the game called off then you need to adapt to it," he told The Liverpool Echo. "Looking at the squad I think we are capable of coping with a big amount of fixtures.

"If you want to have the mentality of a big team you have to be able to cope with a lot of games from the period of February until the end of the season."

Everton sits sixth in the league table with 13 games remaining, with the team five points behind Tottenham in fifth and eight off Liverpool in the final Champions League place, though the Toffees now hold a game in hand over each.

As well a top-four Premier League finish to aim for, Everton remains in the hunt for the FA Cup, and faces Swansea City in the fifth round on Sunday.