Morgan Schneiderlin admits Everton’s away form has to improve next season if they are to break into the Premier League’s top six.
The French midfielder expects manager Ronald Koeman’s summer recruitment to help close the gap, which is currently five points to a Manchester United side whose concentration on the Europa League final means they have coasted towards the end of the campaign.
However, the Toffees’ away record needs to change drastically if they are to mount a genuine challenge next term.
Everton posted their best return at home since 1989-90 by amassing 43 points, with 13 wins and 42 goals scored at Goodison Park.
There is a stark difference on the road, though, with eight defeats meaning they have taken just 18 points from as many matches, scoring just 19 goals, with a trip to Arsenal to come on Sunday representing their final match.
“We look stronger at home but we need to progress away from home and hopefully next year we will do that to catch the team above us because there is not a lot of margin between us and the top six,” Schneiderlin told Press Association Sport.
“You can see the difference between home form and away form. That is the main thing.
“If we won more games away from home we could have been top five so we need to be able to rectify that and know why we have not had the results we want away from home.
“But the team is doing well and hopefully we can keep good players and bring in some good players to the club.”
Schneiderlin only joined Everton in January, in a £20million deal, but he has made an immediate impact on the field.
He has been impressed with the direction the club is heading under Koeman, in his first season at Goodison.
“When a new manager comes in there is always a period of adaptation but I think the team has done well since the start of the season,” he added.
“You could say that in the last two transfer windows they have brought in some quality players and the team is getting stronger.
“There was a little dip of form but we turned it around and I am enjoying every bit of it.”