Seamus Coleman says Everton’s purposeful attacking displays towards the end of last season were a product of manager Marco Silva’s forward-thinking philosophy.
The Blues scored 18 goals and recorded eight clean sheets in their final 11 Premier League outings of 2018-19, winning six and drawing three of those contests.
That run of form saw Everton secure conclusive victories over top-six sides Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United, as they delivered a series of authoritative performances.
When appointed Blues boss last summer, Silva spoke of his desire to shape a team that approached every game with the desire to win.
The attacking ambition consistently displayed by Republic of Ireland skipper Coleman and fellow full-back Lucas Digne over the campaign underlined the Portuguese manager's commitment to playing on the front foot.
France international Digne created 52 chances during the season – a total higher than any other defender in Europe’s top-five leagues. He also delivered 83 accurate crosses, which was the most of any Premier League player.
Coleman’s influence is highlighted by the fact he had the fourth highest number of touches of any Everton player in 2018-19, despite missing out on nine Premier League matches.
The positive mindset instilled by Silva was memorably illustrated in the final home game of the campaign – a 2-0 victory over Burnley under the lights at Goodison Park – when Coleman advanced into the penalty box to head home after Digne’s powerful shot was parried by Clarets stopper Tom Heaton.
“The manager wants his full-backs to get forward as much as possible,” explained Coleman.
“That's something he really wants, and you can see that on the other side [of the pitch] with the season that Lucas has had - he's chipped in with a lot of goals and assists.
“He doesn't maybe like us both going at the same time so for Lucas to shoot and for me to score [against Burnley] might have been a bit of a rare occasion, but he does encourage me to get forward as much as I can.”
Coleman has sustained his impressive Everton form at international level, helping the Republic of Ireland record a 1-1 draw in Denmark and wrap up a 2-0 home victory against Gibraltar in recent UEFA Euro 2020 qualifiers.
Mick McCarthy’s team are top of qualifying Group D, having taken 10 points from their opening four games.
Coleman says he is determined to build on his fine displays for club and country when the new Premier League term gets under way in August.
The right-back, who is now just 11 appearances away from reaching the 300-mark for the Toffees, is also confident Everton can maintain momentum after a strong final three months of the campaign.
In the period between beating Cardiff City 3-0 on 26 February and the end of the season, the Blues placed third in the Premier League form table, having taken 21 points from 11 matches.
“I feel like I was playing well, the team was playing well and we finished the season with a lot of clean sheets,” he added.
“The better you play as an individual and as a team, confidence grows, so it's been good for us and we probably didn't want the season to end.
“Now it’s about taking belief from that into the new season.”