Gareth Barry is insistent that Everton can fight for a European spot this season after his new side's 1-0 win over title challengers Chelsea on Saturday.

The 32-year-old had a dream start to his year-long loan at Goodison Park, putting in a man of the match performance which included a brilliant goal-saving tackle on new Chelsea signing Samuel Eto'o.

And despite having left European football behind at Manchester City - who start their Champions League campaign this week - the England international is confident the Toffees will be serious contenders this season.

“There will be a big impact on confidence now," he said.

“Getting into Europe with Everton is one of the targets and the longer the season goes on the more we’ll set ourselves more targets.

“But I think this will be the most open Premier League for a long time.

“When you looked at it pre-season you saw the top three teams and all the managers had changed and that’s set it up.

“Nobody is that stable and nobody looks like they will run away with it.

“That means there could be a surprise this season and from an Everton point of view we want to get into the mix and finish as high as we can.”

The former Aston Villa man was also quick to compliment his new teammates, especially 19-year-old star, Ross Barkley. 

“I had two days training with Ross. He has bags of confidence and lots of ability," Barry added.

“If he manages to keep a level head and keep learning, he can go all the way. The sky is the limit for him.

“It’s surprising how strong the squad is and when everyone is fit and available the competition here will be really good, which is what we need."


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