Everton legend Peter Reid believes next month’s Champions League qualifiers will be the most critical matches in the club’s history.
Reid was keen to celebrate the club’s past at today’s launch of the Everton Collection Charitable Trust, set up to raise the £800,000 (€1.2m) it will take to buy Dr David France’s collection of club memorabilia, but it is Everton’s future that concerns him most.
With Moyes having missed out on several transfer targets, Reid underlined the importance of boosting the current squad with quantity and quality.
He said: “The hard work starts now. Everyone has celebrated fourth place and it was a fantastic achievement, but Everton have got to really kick on now, it’s a fact of life.
“This Champions League qualifier is the club’s most important two matches in our history. Win this tie and everything opens up for Everton.”
Everton do not yet know their opponents, but victory over two legs will take them into the Champions League group stages – and guarantee a substantial windfall.
“It is worth so much money and we must get into the group stages,” said Reid.
“That’s why we need new players and that is why David Moyes is working so hard to get them here.”
Reid knows this summer’s recruitment will play a significant role in Everton’s efforts to stay in the top six on a year-in, year-out basis.
“We have lost ground on certain clubs and we need to get that ground back again,” said Reid.
“If you look at the squad there’s plenty of internationals but these days you need internationals on the bench.
“David Moyes has done superbly to get the side this far.
“But the further you go in competitions and a higher level it does not take a genius to know that you have to improve the squad in quality and numbers and David knows that.
“I see that he has been trying to get players in and he has been pipped at the post a few times, and I’m sure he is disappointed.
“But to play at this level with the amount of games you have to play, I’m not telling him his job or anything he doesn’t know already, we need to improve.
“The quality has got to be improved. When I played in Europe, the squads were much smaller.
“Now when you look at Chelsea, Manchester United and now Liverpool, they have more than two teams and two players for every position.
“And that quality of player is very, very hard to get. And David has a hard job on his hands. It is difficult and he has about six weeks.”
Reid was joined by his former manager Howard Kendall and former England international Brian Labone at today’s launch.
The former Sunderland boss added: “Everyone knows the new ball park we are in and he has just got to get on with it and do his very best to get new people into the squad.
“Now he’s trying to get to a different level and that is always the hardest thing. But that is part and parcel of the redevelopment of this club, we have been there in the past and we need to get up there again.”
The Trust aim to reach their £800,000 (€1.2m) target by the autumn and will launch fundraising at the opening-day fixture against Manchester United.
The archives, considered one of the world’s finest, will be stored and displayed at the Liverpool Record Office and the city’s museums.
Dr France has collected over 10,000 items over 25 years, and on the open market the collection would cost around £1.2m (€1.7m).
Plenty of Reid’s shirts and medals form part of the collection, and the club have donated £250,000 (€364,100) towards the Trust, with director Lord Grantchester pledging a further £100,000 (€145,700).