Everton have slipped to 12th after losing four of their last five Premier League matches, and manager Roberto Martinez concedes that their impending FA Cup semi-final with either Manchester United or West Ham has distracted his side.
Martinez spoke at his Thursday's press conference ahead of Saturday's 3pm fixture against Watford at the Vicarage Road.
“We need to forget about the semi-final,” the Spaniard was quoted by the BBC.
“When you reach a real high then it’s difficult to reach the same level. We are going to be obsessed with the games we have ahead.
"We know the quality we have. Clearly the disappointment is there because the standards are so high. We feel we can perform against anyone.”
Martinez was also asked about the comments of defender Leighton Baines, who attributed Everton's recent poor run to a lack of chemistry and teamwork.
“It is very disappointing when you see a misinterpretation of a player’s words, and clearly this has taken out of context,” Martinez said, before acknowledging the England international’s own culpability.
“I’ve had a chat with him and he knows he has to take responsibility for leaving those words open. He has put himself in a position where he has given the wrong words."
Meanwhile Everton official website confirms the availability of midfielder Gareth Barry for the match from suspension.
The midfielder had sat out the last two fixtures against Arsenal and Manchester United.
Martinez also confirmed Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar had missed the trip to Old Trafford with knocks.
"(Gareth) has been missed – both in what he brings as a footballer and a leader," said the Toffees boss. "He’s someone people can look up to, someone who is a reference and someone understands what the team needs in certain moments of a game.
"Leon Osman picked up a knock that kept out of the squad to face Manchester United – the same as Steven Pienaar, but Steven will be training today so apart from that it should be the same squad as last week.
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