Everton captain Phil Jagielka has admitted to Sky Sports that he is not sure how the club can turn their recent form around after suffering a third league defeat in a row with a 1-0 loss to Manchester United on Sunday.
Jagielka was one of the Toffees better players in the clash at Old Trafford but wasted two fine opportunities to score for the visitors, first when his header hit the crossbar before firing straight at David De Gea late on.
The latest defeat leaves Roberto Martinez's side in 12th position, six points off a place in the top half of the table and just seven points ahead of Norwich City in 17th.
A visibly-despondent Jagielka vented his frustration at failing to convert his chances and secure a result from a match which could have gone either way, but admitted that he did not have an answer for how to resolve the Toffees' issues.
The 33-year-old England international told Sky Sports: "When you come to place like Man U and your goalkeeper hasn't really got too much to do and you end up losing 1-0 it's a little bit frustrating. We didn’t take our chances - I had probably the best - and then their cross takes a slight nick and we fail to defend it properly.
"I don’t know [how to turn things around]. Obviously we need to keep playing to our strengths and try and find some confidence. We’ve got some big games coming up before we get to the semi-final. I you want to play in the semi final then you’ve got to make sure your form is pretty decent in the league.
"There’s a lot to play for between now and then and it’s up to us as players to turn this little run of losses into something a little bit better."
Martinez and his players are coming under increasing pressure from Everton fans with a second season down in the bottom half of the table looking more and more likely.
The latest defeat leaves the Merseyside club having won just four of their last 17 Premier League matches since 21 November, and increases the questions being asked about where the club goes from here.
As alluded to by Jagielka, with little to play for in the league the players will be desperate to build up a head of steam over the next few weeks ahead of an FA Cup semi-final against either United or West Ham on 23 April.
Before that occasion, the Toffees face league clashes with Watford, Crystal Palace, Southampton, and, three days before the match at Wembley, a trip to Anfield to face rivals Liverpool in the Merseyside derby.