Demarai Gray has revealed he is working extensively away from the pitch in a bid to maintain his peak condition and, subsequently, improve his consistency throughout the 2022/23 season.
After sealing a move to Goodison Park from Bundesliga outfit Bayer Leverkusen last summer, Gray hit the ground running for the Blues, netting three goals in his first five appearances for the Club.
In total, the 26-year-old winger made 11 goal contributions - six goals and five assists - in a maiden campaign that was hampered by minor injuries and illness following the turn of the year.
Now, refreshed after a summer break and determined to repay the "incredible" passion displayed by Evertonians during a tense end to last term, Gray says he is putting in the groundwork to be even better moving forwards.
"I think in the first half of the season I was playing some of the best football I've played yet in my career," said Gray, speaking on our Everton in the USA show. "But then I had a few little injuries and an illness, which slowed me down a bit.
"My main focus for this season is, obviously, to start how I started last season - but then to maintain it for the whole season.
"I'm working on things, mainly off the pitch, to make sure my body is more robust and stronger, so, when the second half of the season arrives, the little niggles don't play a part as much as they did last year.
"Overall, I was quite happy with my first season individually, but from a team perspective it wasn't where we wanted to be.
"Having said that, through all of the struggle, staying up at the end of it was one of the best feelings I've had, so there were definitely mixed feelings.
"I feel like coming through it was good for me, ultimately. It's good for your character to come through difficult situations.
"The fans, too. The experiences and the heart they gave us with their support was incredible. As an individual, it gave me a massive boost and confidence to know that we've got them behind us.
"You would never have believed the position we were in if you saw the scenes they produced. There was a rollercoaster of emotions but that's done now and we can look forward.
"I'm really looking forward to the new season - I'm focused on it being injury-free and a strong season for me and the team."