Roberto Martinez believes that Everton's struggles defensively are to blame for their poor form over the start of the season.
The Toffees won just once in their first seven Premier League fixtures, but they have picked up back-to-back wins and Martinez believes this is because of a big improvement in defensive situations more recently.
The side have conceded just once in their last two fixtures, after letting in 17 goals in their first seven matches and Martinez is pleased that their defensive issues appear to have been resolved.
“The reason we haven’t got more points in the table is because defensively we were not at our best early on in the season,” Martinez said to the club's official site.
“That’s something rare because it’s in our DNA to be very good defensively. Sometimes there is nothing you can do because you need a bit of luck – you can have a deflected shot that can either go into the top of the stand or the top corner.
“We are through that period. The players accepted it and wanted to work hard, and the result is three performances that were solid.”
Everton's most recent result, a 3-1 win over Burnley, has propelled them up the table and they are now just four points behind the top four.
The side are expected to challenge for the European positions again this year, after an excellent campaign last time around, and they will be pleased that their poor start has not proved too costly.
The next fixture for Martinez's men comes at the weekend, when they take on Swansea City at Goodison Park.
The Swans have made an encouraging start to life this campaign, but it is a match which Everton will be expecting to win and three points should aid them in their push to break into the Champions League qualification places.