Ashley Williams says the bitter disappointment felt by the Everton squad at only taking a point from tough away games at Manchester City and Chelsea underlines the lofty ambitions the new-look Blues have this season.
Ronald Koeman has added seven fresh faces to a group that finished seventh in the Premier League table last term, while an eighth, Henry Onyekuru, will continue his develop on loan at Anderlecht.
Having qualified for the Europa League group stage, beaten Stoke City and drawn away at Manchester City, the Blues had put together an unbeaten start to the campaign before they headed to Stamford Bridge on Sunday.
And the centre-back confirmed the 2-0 defeat against Antonio Conte’s champions had made for a frustrated away dressing room in the capital.
“I think our disappointment [with a draw against Manchester City and the Chelsea result] says a lot about the expectations we have in the camp,” Williams told evertontv. “It’s a tough league and we’ve got a tough start to the season but we feel like we’re in good shape and we’ve got a break of a couple of weeks now.
“We will talk more and keep working as hard as we can because everyone is determined to have a really good season.
“Overall, I think we’re pleased. We lost against Chelsea but it’s the first loss we’ve had. We’ve got ourselves through to the Europa League group stage as well, which is something we wanted to do.
“We knew it was going to be a tough start but I think we’ve done well. It’s important now that we’re all looking forward to coming back after the international break looking to build on what we’ve done.”
Wales skipper Williams will now join up with his nation for World Cup qualifiers against Austria and Moldova.
The Euro 2016 semi-finalists currently trail Serbia and Republic of Ireland by four points in qualification group D and still have work to do to book a place at next summer’s tournament in Russia.
And while the 33-year-old will have plenty to focus on over the next fortnight, he is already plotting ways to help his club side build on their encouraging start with games against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United to come.
“I’m looking forward to the international break,” Williams added. “You just switch your attention from your club to your nation.
“The break can work for and against you at different times, but we’ve got a lot of experience in our squad, with a lot of internationals.
“We know what we have to do and it’s important to go and do that job, then come back in ready to work hard and try to improve.”