Morgan Schneiderlin believes the “consistency, confidence and desire” shown by Everton in the final two months of the season can be a springboard for the 2019-20 campaign.
The Blues delivered the latest in a sequence of impressive performances against top-six opposition on Sunday, battling out an entertaining 2-2 draw with Tottenham Hotspur at the north London club’s new stadium.
Everton came back from 1-0 down to lead against the Champions League finalists, with Theo Walcott and Cenk Tosun on target during a thrilling three-minute second-half spell.
A Christian Eriksen free-kick earned the home side a share of the points, but the result cemented the Blues’ eighth-place Premier League finish.
Marco Silva’s team racked up six wins and three draws in their final 11 matches, scoring 18 goals and recording eight clean sheets.
That run included victories over Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United, as well as a goalless draw with city rivals Liverpool at Goodison Park.
Schneiderlin pointed to the Blues' increasing resilience as a further key factor behind their fine form, and is confident the team can build on their authoritative recent displays when the new season kicks off in August.
“It’s always important to have consistency in our game,” he said.
“We’ve always had the quality. Against Tottenham, we showed if we concede the first goal, we can still play with confidence, with desire.
“Even if the first 20 minutes were not good enough, we didn’t let ourselves get down and we regrouped. We did well.
“That’s the most important thing, to learn from our mistakes in the past. That’s what we did, so fair play to everyone
“Our last 25 minutes of the first half was good and we had some chances to score goals.
“In the second half, we were more compact with better organisation.
“We hurt them twice, but it was just a shame we conceded the goal that doesn’t allow us to take the three points.
“But it’s a good result against a top team. It’s good for the future.”
Sunday’s contest represented Schneiderlin’s fourth successive Premier League start for Everton.
The Blues have been unbeaten in this period, with the Frenchman producing a series of accomplished displays alongside the tireless Idrissa Gana Gueye in the middle of the park.
Schneiderlin’s range of attributes were again on show against Spurs. He regularly helped to thwart opposition attacks with his sharp tackling and timely interceptions, while feeding the Blues’ talented forward players with precision passes.
His quality on the ball was highlighted by his exceptional pass completion rate of 97.7 per cent – the highest of any player on the pitch who completed 90 minutes.
Schneiderlin, who made 10 top-flight starts in total in 2018-19, says continuing to put in the hard yards on the training pitch has been key to his seamless return to the starting XI.
“I always believed in myself,” added the former Southampton and Manchester United player.
“I worked and I did what I had to do off on the pitch to get back in the team.
“I had the chance to come back into the team against Cardiff [a 3-0 win on 26 February] and then had a little injury put me back.
“But since then I think I have done well and the team did well, too, so I’m happy.”