Theo Walcott believes the growing connection between the team and Evertonians can help drive the Blues forward next season.
The Toffees concluded the 2017-18 campaign with a 2-2 draw at Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday, with their ambitious display recognised with a warm ovation by the travelling fans at the end of the game.
Walcott and Cenk Tosun were on target in north London as Marco Silva’s team continued their fine run of form.
Indeed, in the period between beating Cardiff City 3-0 on 26 February and the end of the season, the Blues place third in the Premier League form table, having taken 21 points from 11 matches.
This sequence included five matches against the division’s top six teams, with Everton winning three and drawing two of these contests.
Winger Walcott was eager to highlight the role of the Everton fans in inspiring the Toffees’ vibrant performances.
“The fans have been fantastic home and away throughout the whole season,” he said.
“They are that part of the puzzle that we need in the team.
“They’ve been brilliant, even when we’ve had some difficult periods.
“Against Spurs, they came in their numbers and at times I didn’t even hear the Tottenham fans, they were that loud. I’m sure they enjoyed their day.”
Everton finished eighth in the Premier League table, having accumulated five more points than last season.
The Blues’ progress is underlined by the fact they scored 10 more goals and conceded 12 fewer than in 2017-18.
Speaking after the 2-2 draw with Spurs, manager Silva stressed his team have “clearly improved” since the start of the season.
Any observer of the game would surely have concurred, with Everton the more expressive side for significant chunks of the encounter
The Blues fired in 17 shots during the game, with the Champions League finalists conjuring 11 efforts on goal.
Walcott, who signed for Everton from Arsenal in January 2018, revealed his equaliser was “the result of the patterns of play we work on every day in training”.
The winger provided the decisive touch after a devastating team move. Ademola Lookman was the catalyst, advancing forward at speed before laying the ball off to Gylfi Sigurdsson. The classy Icelander then slipped a pass into Walcott, who chopped back onto his left foot before guiding a precision effort past Hugo Lloris.
Walcott said he was determined to seize his chance to impress after being handed a first start since the 0-0 Merseyside derby draw with Liverpool on 3 March.
“I’ve worked really hard to get back into the team,” he said. “The team has been playing particularly well and it’s always tough when you have got competition [for places].
“I’m pleased with the way I and the team performed [against Spurs], especially in the second half and over the last few weeks. I felt that we could have potentially got three points in the end, but I feel like overall it’s probably a fair result.
“It’s always nice to end the season on a high, with a goal.
“Of course, I just want to score more goals but, more importantly, I want the team to win.
"I will have a good rest now, recover and be very focussed for next season."