Seamus Coleman expects the fierce competition for places in Everton’s starting line-up to act as further motivation for the Blues to “do the business” on matchday.
Everton launch their Premier League campaign at Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, with right-back Coleman insisting his side must be “quick out of the blocks” to get the better of Nuno Espirito Santo’s upwardly-mobile team.
The Toffees will encounter something of an unknown quantity in Wolves. The clubs have not met since 2012 and the Midlanders have undergone major surgery since boss Nuno was appointed last summer.
Republic of Ireland international captain Coleman, though, will go to Molineux appreciating the scale of the task in hand after watching Wolves trample all over their Championship rivals to end a six-year top-flight absence.
“I saw quite a lot of Wolves last season, their right-wing back is Matt Doherty, an Irish lad. Any time Irish lads are playing on TV you try to have a look and make sure everyone is doing well,” explained Coleman.
“I know they play three at the back and use wing-backs. And they play very attractive football. The manager seems very positive, as well, so I am sure it will be a good season for Wolves but we need to make sure we get out of the blocks quicker than them on Saturday.
“The teams coming up from the Championship are very strong and… with the money in the game, they can get some very good players in the door, as you have seen at Wolves.
“The Premier League is massive and when you get there, you want to stay there. The teams coming up are stronger and probably more capable of staying in the league than in years gone by.”
Marco Silva has added a wealth of quality to his Everton squad since taking charge earlier this summer. Brazilian Richarlison, Silva’s first signing, was quickly followed in the door by left-back Lucas Digne.
And the Toffees completed deals for international trio Bernard, Yerry Mina and Andres Gomes on transfer deadline-day this week.
Wolves manager Nuno has been similarly active in the summer market, injecting an abundance of new blood into the squad which was promoted from the Championship with 99 points.
“The big one for us is Wolves… I have no doubt we will be ready and we should all be excited for the new season,” said Coleman, whose countryman Doherty is likely to feature for the hosts after playing all but one of his side's 46 league games last term.
“Competition for places is what you want as a footballer. The worst thing any footballer can do is get comfortable and if you do not have someone behind you, pushing you on, then you will get comfortable. That is not a good place to be.
“I think the manager said from the start he wanted two players in every position pushing each other, so I think it is only a positive and will get the best out of every player on a Saturday, because if you do not do the business there is every chance you could be swapped for the next Saturday.”
Forceful attacker Richarlison featured in three games in pre-season and scored his first Everton goal in the fixture with Ligue 1 side Rennes.
Digne, the former Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain defender, played his first football for the Blues as a half-time substitute in last Saturday’s Goodison Park friendly against Valencia.
“Coming to a new club is always a challenge for new players but Richarlison, in training, has been very exciting and he is one the fans will be very excited by,” added Coleman, an unused substitute when Everton last played at Wolves in a scoreless draw in May 2012.
“I think he will definitely bring a good atmosphere to Goodison when we play our home games and, hopefully, he can get some goals for us.
“He is a strong and very talented boy. But one thing that stands out is that he is a player who is going to work for the team. His work rate is very impressive.
“He has got right stuck in and helped out defensively, so he is a player we should be very happy with.
“Lucas has played at some top clubs as well, so it is very exciting.”