David Moyes has no intention of getting sidetracked by talk of Europe despite last night's excellent win at Manchester City.
Collecting three points from a trip to Eastlands is becoming as much an annual tradition as travel chaos around Bank Holidays.
Goals from Tim Cahill and Leighton Baines ensured Everton recorded their fourth straight win at City.
It allowed them to clamber away from the drop zone, five points ahead of third-bottom Wigan, yet only six adrift of fifth-placed Tottenham, such is the congestion in the Premier League table.
Little wonder there was immediate talk of a concerted assault on the European spots at the start of a Christmas period that continues with a home encounter against Birmingham on Boxing Day.
But Moyes has no such lofty aims at present.
The Scot is aware his side have struggled to find consistency this term. And he realises the search must continue until that elusive component of so many successful seasons has been rediscovered.
"I still feel we are big outsiders when people talk about Europe," he said.
"This result keeps the Premier League exciting. I am sure many teams were happy with it, not just Everton.
"It showed the quality we have got at the club.
"But we have a great deal of catching up to do.
"We have been doing a great job trying to make up ground and we will keep going. But we are a bit further back than all the other teams."
Nevertheless, there are sound reasons for optimism on the blue half of Merseyside, none more so than the form of Tim Cahill.
Although the Australian scored his ninth goal of the season when he nodded home Seamus Coleman's early cross, Moyes does not feel Cahill has been operating at his peak.
Last night, he produced the workrate to go with his goals output, harrying the City defence at every opportunity as the visitors tried to protect their two-goal advantage, then working tirelessly in a more orthodox midfield role once Victor Anichebe had been dismissed.
"Tim's energy levels looked back to the old days," observed Moyes.
"There had been signs he had maybe dipped down a little bit but he showed great energy, and we needed him to.
"He did a great job when we were at 10 men and even when we had 11. He epitomised what we are about.
"He was the one who kept taking the fight to Manchester City."
It was the third year in a row Cahill had scored at City. Given they were also the first team he found the net against for Everton, the 31-year-old could be forgiven for asking if he could face the Blues every week.
Moyes would certainly have no complaints given his side have reserved most of their effective performances against England's top sides.
Everton's results this season include victories over Liverpool, and now City, plus draws with Manchester United and Chelsea.
It is the rest he accepts must improve if the Merseysiders are to fulfil lofty pre-season expectations.
"Confidence is high because we have great belief at the moment," he said.
"We have been playing well recently. We have players who can make a difference and help us play well.
"We have already had good results this season against Manchester United and Chelsea. Now coming here to Manchester City as well means we have a bit of momentum going into the next few games."Reuse content