Everton travel to Sunderland tonight looking for a spark to reignite their recent revival.
The Toffees have slipped back down to 16th in the Barclays Premier League after a run of three games without a win.
David Moyes' side leapt from the bottom of the table to eighth during October as they finally found some form after a disappointing start to the campaign.
They continued their unbeaten run into November and had gone seven games without defeat prior to last week's loss to Arsenal.
However, the previous two games had ended in disappointing draws to Blackpool and Bolton and such is the closeness of the competition they were quickly overtaken.
Everton are now just one point above the bottom three ahead of the game in hand they play at the Stadium of Light tonight.
Victory would push the Merseysiders back up to 10th and give the team's campaign a much healthier look.
"I don't think we did great against Arsenal but we had been on a relatively good run," said Moyes, whose side finished eighth after losing just two of their last 24 games last season.
"I was disappointed with the results against Blackpool and Bolton, that we didn't take more points. I think that is where the disappointment has come.
"We'd have been better off winning one and losing one - we'd have got more points.
"I think the Arsenal game, we didn't quite reach the mark - but right up until the last minute we were close to getting back in the game.
"It says a lot that, from me especially, there is an expectancy that we can go and beat Arsenal now. It is amazing how things change over the years."
Everton face a Sunderland side on a high after pulling off a shock win over leaders Chelsea last week.
That result may have lost some of its gloss due to the champions' subsequent loss to Birmingham, but it remains one of the more surprising of the season.
Coming just a fortnight after the Black Cats were humbled 5-1 by rivals Newcastle, it also represented a remarkable turnaround for the Wearsiders and their manager Steve Bruce. Moyes said: "From the defeat they had at Newcastle, they have bounced back so well.
"Steve looks as if he has dusted himself down and got them back together.
"They have certainly picked themselves up and got going again."Reuse content