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Europe or bust?

Not much in the news today, but the MEN carried an interview with Richard Dunne in which he says "anything but Europe this year would be a failure for us."
Elsewhere in the interview he admits that despite the last season push, it would have perhaps been a year too early but this season given the start we have had it is definitely expected.
I don't think it is just the players who are expecting it either, as a poll of supporters would surely reveal the same expectations.
Despite a brief flirtation with relegation a couple of seasons ago, the club is now in a stable position within the Premiership and it would take a truly monumental performance (even by City standards) to even come close to relegation now.
I think there has also been a realisation that the standard throughout the Premiership is not as high as it once was (or thought) and we can certainly hold our own with any side in the league. The consistency and resilience that we have added has also instilled a belief in the side and that we are not prone to throwing stupid games away, although disappointments like the Fulham game show we have not quite eliminated the frustrating ability to let opportunities slip.
Looking at the table currently - despite taking only eleven points from the last nine games after the hot start we had, a look around sees teams such as Bolton and Wigan riding high whilst some of the supposed bigger sides are struggling for consistency.
To move onto the next level, we do now need to be reaching European competition and attracting players who are looking to play in Europe, and in that process you can then kick on even further and be aiming for a Champions League spot (if Everton can do it?).
I think it is a measure of how far the club has rebounded over the last few years though in that the expectation now is that the team should achieve at least a UEFA place from this season and anything less would be viewed as a failure and should lead to answers as to why it has not been achieved.