We've made big strides - Moyes
Everton boss David Moyes believes his team can reflect on an outstanding 2012.
The Merseysiders could end the calendar year as high as third in the Barclays Premier League if they beat Chelsea at Goodison Park on Sunday. The past 12 months have seen Everton reach a new level of consistency under Moyes, starting with the signings of Nikica Jelavic, Darron Gibson and Steven Pienaar last January which sparked a charge up the table.
Moyes said: "I think we have had a good year. From this time last year we kicked on and finished the season very strongly and from the start of this one we have been the same. I think we would have to say it is maybe as good as we have had. I think our football has improved and we look a threat."
He went on: "With Jelavic's arrival, with his goals - he has given us something we have not had for a long time. And I think overall you have seen big improvements.
"The Leighton Baines-Steven Pienaar partnership is back together, the form of people like Leon Osman and Darron Gibson... overall we have been really pleased with 2012."
Having finally shaken off their tag as slow-starters, the challenge now for Everton is to produce another of the strong finishes of recent seasons to push for Champions League qualification.
Moyes said: "That is what we will try to do, but it is going to be tough.
"If anyone thinks we are a shoo-in to do it - I'm telling them it is going to be a long, hard season.
"There are a lot of difficult away games to come and we are going to need the crowd at Goodison to help us in games like last Saturday against Wigan, when we had to dig it out and see it through."