PHIL JAGIELKA insists Everton have learned from their past mistakes in the summer transfer window and will benefit from a stable start to the new season.
The England defender (pictured) said he is relieved that manager David Moyes has been able to do his business with time to spare before the 2012/13 campaign begins, saying the squad will benefit from a lack of the uncertainty which troubled them in previous pre-seasons.
Everton have suffered previously through losing key players late in the summer, with the departures of Joleon Lescott in 2009 and Mikel Arteta last summer sapping morale before the Premier League action began.
But Jagielka, 29, who has recently returned to training after an extended break following his involvement in Euro 2012, senses a difference this time around – especially after the captures of Steven Naismith and Steven Pienaar.
He said: "We always seem to have an air of confidence, especially after the finish we had. But it was important whether we were going to do business, be it ins or outs, that it’s done as soon as possible.
"We’ve seen with Tim (Cahill) going that it was nice for him it was done quick enough. Nasiy (Steven Naismith) has come in and he looks like he’s going to be a decent player for us.
"Hopefully we can get a couple of more in and start the season with a squad rather than having it clouding over us, and wondering ‘are we going to get him or lose him’.
"The club seem to have made a purposeful intent with the transfer market to get what we can in, obviously we haven’t got a lot of money but get what we can in and get everyone familiar with each other."
The Toffees are continuing with preparations for their August 20 opener against Manchester United at Goodison, and drew 1-1 with Bulgarian champions Ludogorets in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Goodison yesterday.
And Jagielka believes the pressure will be firmly on Alex Ferguson’s side when they travel to Merseyside for the first Monday night game of the season.
"We’ve been handed a tough game first game of season but what’s an easy one?," he said.
"We’ve not started as well in the past whether it’s Stoke home or away, or Wigan, or Newcastle. They won’t be looking forward to coming here because they know they’ll need to start the season well with the way their season finished and how competitive it will be for them to win the league. It’s going to be an interesting game."
"I am looking forward to the first game. When I drove into training for the first time I got goosebumps at coming to see the lads, shaking their hands and having a bit of a laugh and a joke.
"I’ve never been this late back into pre-season and me and Bainesy have been training with the reserves. We have come back in decent condition but it has been good.
"I can’t wait for the first game and kick on from there."
Meanwhile, Everton have confirmed they are in advanced discussions with Fenerbahce regarding the protracted transfer of Joseph Yobo.
The Nigerian defender has been on loan at the Turkish outfit for the past two seasons and the two clubs are finally close to agreeing a permanent switch.