Midfielder was named man-of-the-match in the 1-0 win over Chelsea at Goodison Park
Gareth Barry enjoyed the perfect Everton debut this weekend – then immediately set his sights on a return to Europe with the Goodison outfit.
Debutant Barry was named man-of-the-match as Roberto Martinez secured his first Premier League win as manager with a 1-0 home win over title challengers Chelsea on Saturday.
The 32-year-old, signed on a season-long loan from Manchester City, became an instant hit with his new supporters with a goal-saving block on Samuel Eto’o during the first half.
And Barry admitted: “It could not have started better for me.
“Three points was what it was all about and to get that against a team like Chelsea has set us up and will give us a lot of confidence for future games.
“On a personal note a good performance is also something to build on.
“It wasn’t easy to adjust so quickly but it helped to be sitting in there alongside Leon Osman whose game I know and was training with while everyone was away on international duty.
“Over the week we were working together and I think that was a big help. There was a lot of experience around me and I felt part of it straight away.”
Barry gave up the opportunity of potentially playing in the Champions League for City to move to Everton.
But he said: “That won’t matter to me now because my focus is purely on Everton and I’m not worried what’s going on.
“I’ll be enjoying this win and then starting the preparation for next week and looking forward to that. That’s the aim.
“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.”
Barry added: “I said in the build-up I was looking forward to being on the home side here because I know how tough the fans make it for the opposition. I’ve come here many times and it feels like you’re playing an extra man.
“You want things to go your way on your debut and thankfully it did for me and the fans immediately gave me that backing but it’s just one game. You can’t rest on the one performance.”
Everton are one of only two unbeaten clubs in the Premier League – neighbours Liverpool the other – and have still lost only one home top-flight match since March 2012.
Saturday also saw a debut from the bench for £13million signing James McCarthy while loan signing Romelu Lukaku, ineligible to play against his parent club, was unveiled to the home crowd.
“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,” said Barry. “There were a couple of injuries on Saturday and Lukaku was ineligible but I see this as a strong squad.
“I saw from afar the three previous results where we’d dominated the games and not got the three points.
“Probably people were fearing because Chelsea were coming up it could become four games without a win but to put the spin on that to get the result will have the opposite effect because we’ve beaten a team in Chelsea who will be challenging to win the league, so there’s a big impact on confidence.”
Barry’s performance drew praise from manager Martinez, who said: “I’ve been a big admirer of Gareth over the years. He senses danger like nobody, gives you composure and is full of good decisions. He establishes good relationships with players all over the park.
“The partnership he created with Leon Osman was truly magnificent. He is a player that already feels part of the furniture at Everton.
“Gareth's impact showed he can be a proper, loved Evertonian.”