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Everton boss Roberto Martinez was a large part of the club's success this season, having guided the Toffees to their highest points total in the Premier League, taking the club even further than David Moyes did. The Spaniard continues to draw plaudits, and he has lifted the lid on the key to their success this season.
"The key is that application," said Martinez. "As a dressing room now in the Premier League, we have a real combination of cultures, strong group dynamics and it’s the senior players who set the standards and the ways of working. I was so impressed with how open-minded our senior players were, always wanting to try and experiment with things. That allowed the youngsters to come in and have big roles."
"It didn't happen overnight. We had to work a lot on many aspects, but at the start of the season when we had three draws, it would have been easy for the fans to lose patience and not show any understanding of what we were trying to do, but it was the opposite," added the former Wigan Athletic boss.
Meanwhile, defender Shane Duffy will return to Merseyside this summer following a loan spell with Yeovil Town, and having been tipped to be a future star for the club, the Irishman is hoping to break into the first team this season.
"Roberto [Martinez] told me that pre-season was my chance to shine and he's said to me that if I am where he thinks I am - from what he's seen of me this season - then I'm going to be involved," he told the club's official website.
"And if I'm not, we'll see at the end of pre-season what we're going to do. It's a big summer for me, it's up to me. Seeing Seamus [Coleman] progress is brilliant for me because he's such a hard worker and it's a reward for how he lives. And he's very good to me, he says, 'If I can do it, you can do it', so we'll see what happens," added the centre back.
Martinez will be looking to strengthen his squad this summer in a bid to cope with the rigours of competing in the Europa League as well as the Premier League, and it's now rumoured that Almeria winger Aleix Vidal is on the club's transfer wishlist this summer after impressing in La Liga this season.