Roberto Martinez believes Everton’s opening day opponents have realistic ambitions of finishing in the upper reaches of the Premier League table this term.
Martinez’s first competitive match in charge of the Blues is a long-distance trip to Norwich City on Saturday afternoon.
Since regaining their top flight status in 2011, the Canaries have comfortably avoided relegation back to the Championship, finishing 11th and 12th respectively.
And they have signalled their intent for the 2013/14 campaign by investing in six new additions to their playing squad over the summer, including the Club record acquisition of Ricky van Wolfswinkel.
Consequently, Martinez believes the East Anglian outfit are well placed to break into the top half of the table this time around.
“It’s going to be an important season for them,” Martinez told evertontv. “Once you get promoted into the Premier League you have to stay there and then that gives you a different outlook and way of working with your budget.
“I think they have done that really well and have brought good players into the side, some of those with experience of European football and good, young potential.
“Carrow Road is always a difficult place to go and get a result and I don’t think that is going to be any different.
“If anything, you are going to have a new side that are looking for higher heights than to avoid relegation, and that’s going to make it a tough but exciting game.”
The Blues will be roared forward by a sell-out away following at Carrow Road after all 2,400 visiting tickets were snapped up by Evertonians.
Martinez is appreciative of the way in which the Toffees have been backed since he commenced his reign at the Club.
He continued: “The away support has been one of the talking points of pre-season so far from our point of view.
“To see so many fans following us around and supporting the team has been impressive. I can only hope and imagine what it will be like in an official game.
“I’m really looking forward to seeing the Evertonians at Norwich and giving us a warm feeling at the start of the season.”