EVERTON hero Trevor Steven has warned the Blues they cannot allow their habit of starting seasons slowly to become a costly psychological complex.
The former midfield ace, who was part of Howard Kendall’s all-conquering Eighties team, rates the current Toffees line-up highly, and believes they are capable of qualifying for Europe next season.
But he insists David Moyes’ men must not allow their struggles at the start of recent Premier League campaigns to play on their minds as they bid to keep with the pack chasing Euro berths this time around.
He said: “A good start could be so important.
“As long as it’s not a phobia Everton have got for that first two or three months. Because you can lose it in that first two or three months – any great ambition for European places.
“As long as they’re there or thereabouts, in the top seven or eight from day one, then that gives them a foundation to move forward.”
Everton’s last European action came during the 2009/10 campaign, when they reached the final 32 of the inaugural Europa League.
After three seasons away, their hopes of a return could hinge on carrying their impressive form from the end of last term into the new season.
The Blues face a tough opener at home to Manchester United this time around, but after that only one of their following 12 opponents – Newcastle – finished above them last season.
“Everything is looking reasonably good, it’s just putting the points on the board early next season, which would take immediate pressure off David Moyes about finding form,” said Steven.
“He’ll be thinking, ‘let’s find the form we know we’re capable of from day one next season and see where it takes us’.”