Winger Aiden McGeady is keen to make the most of every minute remaining of his summer football in order to give him the best possible start to next season.
The 28-year-old arrived at Goodison Park from Spartak Moscow in January short of fitness due to the winter break of the Russian league.
He made five starts and 13 substitute appearances and has set his sights on being in manager Roberto Martinez’s first-choice XI on the opening day of next season.
To do that he wants to maximise his playing time in the Republic of Ireland’s two friendlies against Costa Rica and Portugal in the United States over the next week.
“I haven’t played all that much at the club so far but I’m just looking to play as many games as I can before the end of the season and hopefully have a good summer, keep myself in good shape and come back to hit the ground running in pre-season,” he told evertontv.
“It’s getting into that rhythm of playing 90 minutes every week and getting up to the tempo of the Premier League.
“Hopefully that’s what I’ll do next season. The aim for me is to be in the starting XI in the first game.
“I spoke to the manager (Martinez) before we left and I said I wanted to carry on through the summer.
“I had a break at Christmas and he said I still need to give myself a rest from playing and running for a couple of weeks.”
With a Europa League campaign to contend with Martinez is going to need all his players fully fit in addition to the reinforcements he has to bring in this summer.
“Recruitment is vital. The recruitment department have been working tirelessly to get the reports and highlight the targets and players that are going to fit in our football club,” said the Spaniard.
“We’ve identified the players and now it’s about making sure we can get them to join.
“It’s very much an important period, but it’s not one where we need to panic.
“We don’t have to make decisions just to bring numbers into the club.
“Everything has to be measured and everything needs to be taken on the understanding that bringing the wrong player into this special group of players that we have could have a very negative effect.
“It’s a key period to make the right calls and the right adjustments, but recruitment is going to be vitally important because of the demands of European football. It’s something we want to embrace.
“We don’t want to feel that we have to blame European football as the reason we cannot keep the standards in our domestic league.”