Watson: Time To Raise Our Game

Steve Watson is looking for a positive reaction from his Everton team-mates after suffering three pre-season defeats in a row.

After producing unconvincing displays against Dundee United, Preston and Roda JC Kerkrade, Watson believes that every member of the first team squad are fighting for their places.

With the new season a little over a week away, Watson is hoping for a significant improvement against Bologna on Sunday.

"It is a concern that we are still losing games and haven't looked like scoring in the last three," he said.

"Now it is time to really start raising our game. It is our last competitive game before the start of the new season against Bologna on Sunday and there is no question that we are all playing for our shirts now.

"No-one is assured of a place against Arsenal that's for sure. We've all got to stand up and be counted and show we deserve a in that team."

However, Watson is adamant that the lack of transfer activity in Goodison has not weakened morale.

Everton are the only top-flight club not to bring a new face into their squad and the Geordie believes that there's still room for improvement from the current crop of players.

"I don't think not bringing anyone in has had an effect on the squad," he continued.

"We are all well aware of the situation at the club. We are not a Chelsea with £140million to spend on new players and that is not our concern either.

"We still have the same collection of players that should have taken the club into Europe last season and our realistic aim for the new season is to go one better.

"We don't believe that this season is all about consolidation, we believe it is about improving and finishing higher than last season's seventh place."

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