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Arsenal (A) Sun 1 Mar 2015, 14:05, Barclays Premier League


Everton v Newcastle

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Roberto Martinez wants to thank Everton’s ‘sensational’ fanbase by signing off for the season with a final-day victory at Hull City.

The Spaniard and his players have been backed by swarms of travelling Toffees wherever they have played throughout 2013/14.

At the end of Sunday, Everton will have appeared in 22 away fixtures in all competitions and been backed by a cumulative total of 61,725 visiting fans.

Indeed, there were only two away Premier League games where Everton did not sell out their full allocation of tickets – one being a 350-mile round trip for a midweek evening clash at Newcastle United.

“The last game of the season is in front of our away fans, who have been sensational," said Martinez. "We want to thank them for their efforts and the way they have been allowing us to be at ease in every away ground.
“The performance has to be for them and we are well aware that Hull will try to prepare for the game knowing they then have to prepare for the FA Cup final as well. It’s going to be an interesting game and we want to finish the season as strongly as we can.”

Last season’s FA Cup final was played before the Premier League campaign had drawn to a conclusion but this year takes place in its traditional spot on the weekend after the top-flight season has ended.

But Martinez, who last year guided Wigan Athletic to FA Cup glory, has played down any suggestion that Hull already have one eye on next Saturday’s date with Arsenal.

Instead, the Blue boss predicts that Steve Bruce’s players will be doing all they can against Everton to ensure they earn a place in the starting line-up at the Wembley.

“Hull’s season has been remarkable,” he continued. “Some of the results they have had, especially at home, have shown they always have a really competitive edge.

“There are certain players who are not allowed to play in the FA Cup but, believe me, when you are one game from a cup final, you just want to play to show what you can do.
“I know the players will be making sure they use the game to put themselves in the starting line-up for the final. They won’t underperform or take the game lightly.”

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