Ronald Koeman has warned his Everton squad they are playing for their places.
Koeman is armed with Everton’s biggest-ever transfer budget and will use it next month to sign up to five new players.
The Blues boss wants a centre-half, a central midfielder, a winger and a forward in January and says everyone has to show him they deserve their place in his team.
“Normally in every club there are players who like to fight to win something,” he said.
“OK, we play the games now, but in the long term, you want to make the squad stronger than it is now.
“It’s all about performances from individual players. Finally you will make choices about what will happen between now and the end of the season.
“It is difficult in January, more difficult than in the summer. But I think we don’t sign just to get new players in, we sign players in positions where we need better quality or more competition.”
Previously players survived at Goodison Park because there was a lack of competition and the club did not always have the resources to bring in quality signings.
But now Koeman has tens of millions to spend thanks to John Stones’ £47.5million sale and Farhad Moshiri’s investment.
The Dutchman says the days when players could take their starting place for granted are over.
“It’s true,” he said. “I don’t know how things were. But finally we like to improve and to make the teams stronger, you go for the best players.
“If you have that quality in, then you keep that. But in several aspects, we need to improve and we will do that.”
Everton face Hull City at the KCOM Stadium tonight, boosted by their first away win in three months at Leicester on Boxing Day.
Koeman was pleased with their second-half display as they scored twice to win 2-0 and feels he is slowly getting his message across to the players.
“Yes,” he said. “With the team there is an understanding and they know that in several aspects we need to change.
“But we cannot wait until tomorrow – the football is being played now and we have to do it.
“Sometimes we need to be more comfortable on the ball and we need to create more. We need more shots on target and that’s also part of the confidence.
“We will get confidence from the last result and it is really good game to show that in our offensive football we have improved.”