Everton boss Roberto Martinez admitted that last seasons disappointing campaign was down to the sides run to the Europa League round of 16, before confirming he wants to qualify for the tournament again this year.
Everton finished an impressive fifth in Martinezs first year at the club, but they were mired in the bottom reaches of the table for much of the last campaign before moving up to 11th on a run of good form after their European exit to Dynamo Kiev.
I think first of all if the question is Is a club that is playing in the Europa League going to have an impact in the league? the the answer is clearly yes, Martinez told reporters on 14 July in Singapore, where the club are playing in the Premier League Asia Trophy.
Its different when you are playing in Europe season after season I think you adapt your mentality, you adapt your habits, you get into a position where you can cope with it much easier. We got affected by it but I think we improved immensely, I think psychologically it is very tough, added the Spaniard ahead of 15 July opening game against Stoke City.
Arsenal and a Singapore Select XI are the other teams in the lucrative pre-season event.
We want to be in those situations. We want to be, as Everton, playing in Europe year after year, Martinez said. This is something that is becoming harder and harder in our league, as you can imagine, because there are probably five teams that are preparing this season to win the title and then you have got another three or four teams who have financial backing to try to get into Europe, so it becomes harder and harder, but that has to be our aim and our objective.
Martinez has brought in a few new signings since the transfer window opened but does not expect any acquisitions similar to the club record £28m ($43.3m) they paid for Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku a year ago.