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Crystal Palace (A) Sat 31 Jan 2015, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

'You Feel Like You Belong'

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Roberto Martinez says he was won over by Everton the very first time he visited Goodison Park.

Since taking over at Wigan in 2009, the Spaniard has sat in the stadium's opposition dugout on five occasions.

Each time he says he has sensed a unique affinity between the Club and its supporters - one he hopes to understand further as he gets to grips with life on the Blue half of Merseyside.

"I can’t describe it when I come to games here," he said. "It’s a feeling that you develop, a feeling that you belong here and now I can start exploring more and making sure I know what the fans want and we can reflect that on the pitch.

"It's important in modern football not to lose the values of the game. I always believe that the real value is the fans, to understand what the fans want and make sure that the football on the pitch reflects that.

"I think that is clear at Everton - there are football values and an incredible passion. I arrived at Goodison and got that feeling straight away, that sense of pride in the club. I need to make sure that I can fit in quickly and be a part of them."

Martinez was confirmed as the Club's new manager on Wednesday after finalising the terms of a four-year deal.

The Spaniard spent Thursday at the Blues' Finch Farm training ground and says he is already planning for what he hopes will be a long and successful tenure at the helm.

"I know what this football club means in terms of the families [it affects] and the passion, so I understand how honoured I am to have this position," he said.

"My message to fans is to get excited and get ready, because we need to be a strong team. And when I say team, that's from them to everyone else at the football club and, of course, the players.

"We need to compete against anything and against anyone. If we are really strong and really help each other, we are capable."

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