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Everton relish sweet taste of Europe ahead of Europa League tie with Wolfsburg

By John Kelly

Everton are back where they belong, according to boss Roberto Martinez.

The Toffees will play their first European match for five seasons when they take on German side Wolfsburg in the Europa League at Goodison Park tonight.

Lille and Russians Kuban Krasnodar are the other teams that make up Group H, and Martinez, who will be managing in Europe for the first time, thinks the games are exactly what his team needs.

Martinez said: "Everton had their first taste of European football 52 years ago so this is nothing new. This is something we feel should be part of our day-to-day work.

"We're very excited, as you can imagine, we've been working hard for 12 months to achieve this opportunity. The Europa League is a great competition, it's where we need to be testing ourselves.

"The only way to fulfil our potential is playing games like the one we're going to face.

"The draw has been really kind in terms of bringing two phenomenal football teams of the quality of Lille and Wolfsburg to Goodison, and then a real surprise with Krasnodar beating Real Sociedad in the play-offs.

"In terms of the group stage, it's a phenomenal challenge for us, but that's what we want at Everton."

Everton go into the game buoyed by their first Premier League victory of the season over West Brom on Saturday. That followed draws against Leicester and Arsenal and a topsy-turvy 6-3 defeat by leaders Chelsea.

Martinez' added: "It's been a difficult start to the season for us in terms of results, but what has been very impressive is the manner that we've been ourselves, the way that we've got on the ball, the way that we've broken teams down and scored goals."

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