Excitement has been engendered throughout the club since Roberto Martinez’s arrival this summer
Shortly after Everton FC's thrilling victory over Newcastle United on Monday night, Phil Jagielka is holding court deep within the bowels of Goodison.
The faint beads of sweat that remain on his forehead speak not of great exertion but more of the unnecessarily nervy finale that saw the visitors come close to snatching an unlikely and undeserved point.
For the first 45 minutes, the old ground had reverberated to a performance of such style, pace and ruthlessness that it prompted at least one seasoned observer to suggest it was the best half of football played by Everton at home since the heyday of the 1980s. A touch too far, perhaps.
But it underlines the excitement that has been engendered throughout the club since Roberto Martinez’s arrival as manager in the summer, the Spaniard guiding his team into fourth place on the back of an unbeaten start to the Premier League season.
Jagielka, though, prefers to look at the changes as being evolution rather than revolution.
“It’s not rocket science,” says the Goodison skipper. “Nobody has changed the dimensions of the pitch or the shape of the ball.
“But there are differences. We passed the ball around really well during the first half against Newcastle, but not so well in the second half.
“If the passing is good and everybody is confident and everybody’s touch is spot on, then it makes life a little bit easier.
“The first half against Newcastle must have been an amazing half to watch for an Evertonian, but the game doesn’t last 45 minutes.
“It has been different under the new manager, but what hasn’t changed is the fact we still want to go out to win games and put the points on the board.
“Whether we create chances by passing the ball around or being more direct, we have to make sure we come up with the right formula in the right games.”
There has also been a shift in mentality within the dressing room since Martinez replaced Manchester United-bound David Moyes, as evidenced by the Spaniard's reaction to Everton allowing a comfortable 3-0 half-time lead to be slashed to a misleading 3-2 final scoreline.
“The manager is ultra-positive,” adds Jagielka. “He came into the dressing room after the Newcastle game and said he was really proud of the lads, whereas some of us were a little bit down due to us conceding the two goals.
“The philosophies are slightly different and their man-management is slightly different. It doesn’t take a genius to work that out from press conferences and interviews.
“They are two totally different guys. At the moment, touch wood, Roberto is doing a fantastic job here and long may it continue.”
Jagielka acknowledges the biggest test of the fledgling Martinez era comes when Everton make the short journey down the M62 to face Manchester City.
But although Manuel Pellegrini’s side have been backed by many to regain their Premier League crown, they stand three places and two points adrift of fourth-placed Everton after an indifferent opening.
“When Chelsea came to Goodison obviously we were a bit fortunate not to concede in the first half but I don’t think they are the complete package yet, they’re still growing into their season,” says Jagielka.
“City have either been amazing or a little bit naïve, so we’re still seeing with them. They have been amazing at home but that’s what we expect when we go to the Etihad.
“The way the league is panning out, no-one seems to be taking charge or has been invincible.
“Arsenal have had the best start and nobody expected that after they were beaten heavily in their first game at home.
“Everybody else has shown their weaknesses, and nobody has taken full points after six games. It’s going to be an interesting season.”
While City have a 100% record at home in the league from three games – thumping neighbours United 4-1 in the process – they were undone 3-1 by holders Bayern Munich in the Champions League in midweek.
Everton have won on four of their last visits to the Etihad, and with Martinez insisting his team will not go there simply to defend, it promises to be an open game between two of the Premier League’s leading scorers this campaign.
“It’s always been a tough place to go, but also an enjoyable one,” says Jagielka. “It’ll be difficult but they are the ones you want to play in and we have had some good results against them, so it will be interesting to see how we go out and play in this one.
“Normally we have been a bit cautious but with the confidence the boys have at the moment, and the way the manager wants us to play, it could be a very interesting game for us.
“We have to be confident we can go there and do a job. We have given ourselves a good enough start that we can go there and be positive and see where it takes us.
“If we go there and win, then fantastic. If we go there and draw or lose, we’re not going to be the first team this season to do that.
“Hopefully this run isn’t just a flash in the pan and we can keep things going and see where we end up.”