Demarai Gray has revealed the key reasons why he is confident Everton will improve under Sean Dyche next season.
When Dyche was appointed Blues boss at the end of January, Everton sat 19th in the Premier League table and two points adrift of safety with only 15 points on the board after 20 matches.
The manager inspired a noticeable turnaround in form and racked up 21 points from his 18 league games in charge, helping Everton climb out of the relegation zone and confirm their top-flight status following the 1-0 final-day victory against Bournemouth at Goodison Park.
The Blues' form across the crucial final month of the season also played a huge role in their eventual survival as the Toffees finished May having lost just one of their final five league games, with that solitary defeat coming against Premier League champions Manchester City.
For Gray, that form was yet more evidence of the positive influence Dyche has had on this Everton team. And the forward believes the boss will be right on the players from the outset in the new season to make sure they pick up from where they left off.
“With the manager now, he will make sure we are not in these positions," Gray told evertontv. "As soon as the new season begins, he’ll be bang on us.
“There’s so much intensity (to play under him), which is something the fans can feed off as well. When we come together, and the fans are on it as well, Goodison is a horrible place for opponents to come. It’s very intimidating.
“Since coming in, the gaffer has instilled his own ideas and explained what he wants from us, there’s nothing too complicated. He uses the strengths of the players we’ve got and gives the team a plan.
“The gaffer is very clear with his instructions. There’s a lot more to build on from next season."
Gray added: “If you look at where we are in the table since the manager come in, it’s a completely different situation. We have to take that and have confidence, especially with a full pre-season where he has time to prepare, time to work, get our energy levels where they need to be and make sure we are not down there.
"Because this is Everton, it’s a big club and the players we have got in this changing room here, we should be higher up the table."
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HIGHLIGHTS: EVERTON 1-0 BOURNEMOUTH
Gray started the season finale against Bournemouth as a tense afternoon at Goodison ended in relief thanks to Abdoulaye Doucoure's second-half winner.
Gray admitted the players were relieved to get the job done - but the overriding emotion was a determination to not let such a talented squad and huge club having to fight for survival again.
“There’s a lot of emotion,” Gray told evertonfc.com. “Against Bournemouth, we got the job done, we got the three points and I was proud of the boys. I think everyone left everything they had out on the pitch.
“With the players we’ve got in this team, looking forward, it’s important in future seasons that we are not in this situation again. Because there’s a lot of quality in this team."