Everton defender Ashley Williams has issued a rallying call to his teammates to set their sights on reeling in the top six, after they were dumped out of the FA Cup by Leicester.
The Toffees are no fewer than nine points behind sixth-placed Manchester United and a full twelve behind Sunday's visitors Manchester City, but Williams is determined to work on overhauling them.
“It’s disappointing obviously to be out of both the cups early on,” Williams admitted to Everton's official website. “It will be difficult to get into the top six because those six teams are very strong. We just have to concentrate on our league form and keep pushing and see how many points we can get.
“We have a lot of those teams above us to play still, we just have to try to at least stay where we are and see if we can close the gap a little bit.”
The strength of the top six has been abnormally strong this season, leaving everybody else trailing in their wake. Their poor performance in the cups this season has also given Everton a fight on their hands to secure a European spot (depending on the winners of each cup).
Questions over Ronald Koeman's relationship with the Everton board are now surfacing, as the Dutchman has been surprisingly open with the media over transfer funds and the future of some of his players.
Koeman is desperate to sign Morgan Schneiderlin from Manchester United. Could he be the player to help them snatch hold of the top six's coat-tails?