Jack Rodwell is hoping that Everton can return to winning ways when they face Fulham this Saturday, and has challenged his teammates to close the gap on the Barclays Premier League's leading pack.
After three straight defeats, the Toffees have dropped to 15th in the table, and are already nine points adrift of fourth-placed Newcastle, but the 20-year-old midfielder is desperate for the club to climb back into European contention.
"We can't let the gap start to widen and slip slowly down," Rodwell told the Liverpool Echo. "We've got to keep as close as possible.
"It is difficult to compete but we've got a good squad ourselves and we don't go into any game thinking we're not going to win. We're never scared of opposition teams, even if they've got a lot of money to spend."
With David Moyes having to operate on a shoestring budget at Goodison Park, it has proved a difficult task to keep pace with some of the country's big-spenders.
But Rodwell sees no reason to be fearful despite the financial clout of certain rival clubs, and is hoping to continue his good form to help Everton push up the table.
"There's a lot of them around, Man City, and Liverpool now but it's not necessarily the money that wins you trophies as we've seen over the past few years," he added. "It's just getting wins and a good run of form again which I'm sure we'll do.
"I've been in the team and started well, so that's why the derby red card was so disappointing but I'm back now.
"It's always hard to digest a defeat, hard to take but we're desperate to put it right. Last season I was injured a lot so I always feel better to be playing. I feel match fit and sharp again."
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