Carlo Ancelotti has been backed to lead Everton to the Premier League top four this season.
Ancelotti has been at Goodison Park since December 2019 with things seeming to come together this season.
He was backed in the transfer market with the signings of James Rodriguez, Abdoulaye Doucoure, Allan and Ben Godfrey in the summer.
Everton are currently seventh in the Premier League, three points off the top four with two game in hand over the sides above them.
Former Norwich striker Ashton believes Ancelotti’s experience is the telling factor and was personified by his clam demeanour in their 5-4 thriller with Spurs in the FA Cup.
Speaking on Thursday’s Drive, Ashton said: “He can easily fire them into the top four. I think with his experience, what was so interesting and running through Twitter right through the game, was his reaction to the fifth goal. Everyone on the bench is going berserk and he’s just blowing his hot coffee, tea or bovril – whatever he had in there.
“He’s seen it and done it. He knows you haven’t got into the final or won it, you’ve just gone ahead 5-4 and there’s a long way to go.
“That showed his class, experience and that he knows what it’s all about.
“20 trophies in five different countries for Carlo Ancelotti. He knows what it takes and he clearly knows how to improve players.”
On the club’s transfers, Ashton added: “If you bring in players like James Rodriguez, everybody else in the club goes ‘wow, this is a top manager’.
“Everton is a great club but Everton on its own doesn’t pull in James Rodriguez, it’s the manager. He’s worked with him before and he wants to come and work for Carlo Ancelotti again.
“That bodes well with clearly the money they’ve got at the club to go again in the summer transfer window and really try to push the top boys.”
Ashton was also impressed with the improvements seen in the likes of Godfrey and Dominic Calvert-Lewin.
Godfrey signed from Norwich, who were relegated to the Championship last season, and he’s played a key role for Ancelotti at both centre-back and left-back.
Calvert-Lewin seems to have take a step to the next level with 13 goals in 20 games in the Premier League.
Ashton added: “You are spot on with Ben Godfrey from last season. There was clearly someone with an elite mentality and I think he showed that in the Norwich side. He had a real competitive edge. You could see that in the way he played but he needed moulding, needed coaching to be a really good defender.
“He still made the odd mistake but already he looks a better player.
“Dominic Calvert-Lewin looks totally a different player. You can tell the influence he’s had on him in terms of defining and focusing on what he needs to be as a striker.
“Not overall what you’ve got to be because that’s a lot to take in but the little things you have to concentrate on to make you a better, more prolific striker in the Premier League.
“Already you can see that difference and he’s played a big part of that. I know the other coaches will for sure but he has as well in terms of mentality.”