London - Everton's impressive display in their 3-0 win over Southampton will be the standard the Merseyside club would seek to follow this season, goalkeeper Tim Howard has said.
Two excellent first-half goals by Belgian international Romelu Lukaku inspired Everton to an emphatic win at the St Mary's in the Premier League on Saturday.
Everton had been criticised for their slow start in their lacklustre 2-2 draw to Premier League new boys Watford, but they responded strongly against the Saints.
"It feels great. We felt like we owed them one -- we got it taken to us the last couple of times we went down there," Howard told the club's website (www.evertonfc.com).
"We put the emphasis this past week on coming out of the gates strong and we did that."
Everton finished 11th last season, their lowest position since the 2003-04 season, and the 36-year-old American is keen to improve on that this season.
"We hope we can achieve better than the last few seasons -- that is the plan. Everyone is gunning for the same thing so we will have it all to do," said the former Manchester United goalkeeper.
"But if we put in more performances like the one against Southampton and use that as the standard, then we will be okay."