Leighton Baines says that Everton's record Premier League points tally has set a benchmark for further progress next season.
Sunday's 2-0 victory at Hull ensured a final total of 72 points -- the best that the Toffees have managed over a 38-match league season. It also represented their best return in any campaign since they won the league title with 86 points in 1986-87, when the league season consisted of 42 games.
Everton's tally this season was enough to earn them fifth place and qualification for next season's Europa League playoff round. But having been in a strong position to qualify for the Champions League before losing three of their final five matches, Everton can improve next season, according to England left-back Baines.
He told the Liverpool Echo: "It's been a really encouraging season, with that highest points tally, and it sets a good benchmark for next season. We need to use that as such. It was a very controlling performance; coming away from home and dominating the vast majority of the game with a lot of possession. The goals capped it off and it was quite comfortable."