Everton manager Carlo Ancelotti has told his players to return next season with more ambition as he seeks to reset the club’s targets.
The Italian’s considerable skills were invaluable in guiding the Toffees away from the threat of relegation. Something which had loomed over predecessor Marco Silva in the four months before his December sacking.
However, the three-time Champions League winning coach is not used to seeing 12th-placed finishes – Everton’s worst since 2004.
And after criticising the players’ lacklustre attitude in the 3-1 defeat to relegated Bournemouth, which inflicted his first home league loss, he sent them off on their summer break with a few choice words.
“The players that stay I said to them ‘Come back with more motivation and more ambition’,” said Ancelotti.
“The key thing is ambition. Everyone has to play his part but the club can have more ambition. I can have more ambition.
“I would like to see a better team next season and we are going to see a better team next season for sure.
Better start will produce a better end
“This season was affected by the start, which was not so good and they had some problems. With a better start the team can have a better season.
“We have to fight for European competition, this is absolutely normal. We didn’t show continuity and this is what we need to have to be better next season.
“To be competitive, (and) we are far from this position. For next season the goal has to be there.
“We know the squad has to be improved. It is important to be able to improve the squad before the season starts,” added the Italian.
“I know the market is open until October 5 but I don’t know if it is possible to have the squad ready when we start in the middle of August, it could be the best scenario possible.”