Everton midfielder Gareth Barry says the club can improve on last season’s fifth-place Premier League finish and believes Roberto Martinez will add more signings before the close of the transfer window to help them do so.
Spending the previous campaign on loan from Manchester City, Barry proved a crucial part of Everton’s success, appearing in 32 top-flight games before making his switch to Goodison Park permanent this summer.
Joined by the returning Romelu Lukaku, as well as Chelsea loanee Christian Atsu and £4 million midfielder Muhamed Besic, Barry understands this season will be even tougher than the last, but thinks that a Champions League spot is obtainable, especially with more additions to come.
‘We’re not getting ahead of ourselves. We know it’s going to be a really tough season but that’s got to be our target,’ he told Sky Sports News HQ. ‘You have to set targets each season and this one is no different.
‘We want to improve on that fifth-place and points total, and we’re going to be set up for a fantastic year.’
Having won 53 England caps since his international debut in 2000, Barry hasn’t appeared for the national side since May 2012, but his form during the 2013-14 campaign had some suggesting that a re-call could be on the cards.
The former Aston Villa captain, however, isn’t getting his hopes up, but stresses that he is still available for selection if the chance comes again.
‘It’s going to be difficult, I think. I’ve not retired from international football but when you haven’t been selected for so long it’s hard to think about it,’ he said.
‘My main target personally is to try and play as many games for Everton, stay fit and play to a good standard, as any good professional would do, so if anything happens from there it’s obviously going to be a big bonus.’