Everton manager David Moyes has warned his squad they risk jeopardising their chances of playing in the FA Cup final if they try to coast towards the end of the season.
Phil Jagielka rupturing knee ligaments in last weekend's defeat to Manchester City may have set alarm bells ringing with a few players but Moyes insists it must be business as usual.
Moyes said: "Last week we had three games in six days and one was extra-time so I felt the need to switch the players around a bit on the Wednesday and the Saturday. But if they do drift towards it (the final) then they may end up not playing in it."
He added: "I have got the ability to say that to them so they have got to be the ones that show me how much they want it.
"The league is the one we are concentrating on and if the players are not concentrating on it they are putting themselves and their place in the final in jeopardy."
Everton travel to the Stadium of Light on Sunday to take on Sunderland, who have different problems being just four points above the relegation zone.
Midfielder Jack Rodwell is a doubt after injuring a hamstring playing for the reserves in midweek but on-loan Manchester City striker Jo returns after being ineligible to face his parent club a week ago.
"It is very hard to play the teams fighting relegation at this time of the season because games are running out for them and they know what's at stake," added Moyes.
"In the same breath there is a lot of pressure and anxiety and that can go on to the field as well.
"I'm glad I'm in my position and not theirs. We know it will be a tough game as they will be smarting from their defeat (3-0 at fellow strugglers West Brom) last week."
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