David Moyes is acutely aware the next step could be the hardest one of all for Everton.
Despite working under severe financial restrictions compared to the clubs around them, the Toffeemen have firmly established themselves as a top-six outfit and lost to Chelsea in Saturday's FA Cup final. But Moyes also realises Everton are close to the glass ceiling that separates the big four from the rest. He did smash it once, three years ago, only to be quickly put firmly back in his place.
Now he is ready for another go and said: "We have knocked over Liverpool, Aston Villa and Manchester United. We couldn't knock over Chelsea but we deserved to be in the final. The next bit hopefully will come next year."
The solution for Everton is to invest a bit of cash. Yet that is easier said than done for a club run on a limited budget by chairman Bill Kenwright, who, in fairness, does what he can to squeeze every penny for Moyes to work with.
"It is difficult to put a figure on it," he said.
"Look at Chelsea. Frank Lampard, John Terry and Didier Drogba are the ones you would want. They are the ones who win you games and eventually cups.
"That is the level we are at. But it is hard to win things in England.
"Everyone is competing for a small amount of trophies.
"We are trying to develop those players. This season we just needed one or two more at that level. If we had done that who knows?"
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