Everton boss David Moyes accepts his pre-season aspirations of pushing the likes of Manchester City at the top end of the league are now impossible.
Yet as the Toffees prepare to travel to the City of Manchester Stadium on Monday night, the Scot has lost none of the conviction that his team are as good as Roberto Mancini's expensively-assembled, title-chasing side.
"I think City are a stronger side, they have had a year more of development," he said.
"They have spent again to get themselves up there and they look as if they are a bit more established.
"They are a good side with good players and they have got themselves in a healthy position.
"You won't know until the end but I would still put them as outsiders to win the Premier League.
"I hoped we would have been in a similar position but our start and the way we are at the moment makes that look very impossible.
"But we are a good team as well - that gives us a chance of going there and showing what we can do.
"We have done that in a lot of games and we will have to do that again in what will be a tough game.
"The players know if it is our night we are more than capable of getting a result. What we have not had is enough days where it has been our day this season."
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