Roberto Martinez has told Newcastle United says his Everton side will respect the ‘integrity’ of the Premier League – and not hand survival to Sunderland on a plate.
The under-fire Toffees boss has faced questions over his future after a dismal league campaign for the Merseysiders.
Everton capitulated against Leicester City at the weekend, prompting fears among Newcastle fans that they will lie down at the Stadium of Light and gift Sunderland the win they need to keep them up and send the Magpies hurtling into the Championship.
But Martinez said: “This is a huge, huge game, and there is so much to play for.
“The Premier League has always been strongest of any league in Europe, and it has always had integrity. From our point of view it is about reacting to our performance against Leicester – nothing more.
“We had a lack of intensity at Leicester and that cost us, we were trying to get something out of the game, but if you don’t match the intensity of your opponent it’s always difficulty.
“We are not going to make the mistake of losing the attention to what really matters now. We have spoken about the integrity of the competition, and we will not lose focus on that.
“It is always you win and lose as a team, and if you don’t reach a level of intensity it’s always difficult to compete, who ever you play.
“The reaction has been clear – it was clear after the final whistle that we all have a desire to react.”
Martinez has Ramiro Funes Mori back from suspension and Gareth Barry could also return.