PHIL JAGIELKA admits Everton must rediscover the winning habit quickly to prevent their blistering start to the season from petering out.
David Moyes’ men travel to Fulham on Saturday afternoon having triumphed in just two of their last eight games in all competitions.
Last Sunday’s derby recovery at Liverpool was Everton’s third successive Premier League draw after similar returns at Wigan Athletic and Queens Park Rangers, a sequence that has seen the Goodison outfit slip out of the top four for the first time this season.
And while Jagielka acknowledges the resilience of Moyes’ men – who have still only lost once in the top-flight this campaign – he has warned the early-season momentum is under threat.
"It’s important for us to starting winning more games again," said the England international. "We made a fantastic start and while I wouldn’t say it has petered out, it’s become more of an okay start now.
"Having said that, our starts are normally horrific, so compared to that it has been terrific!
"It’s a long season and while we obviously go out to win every game, that doesn’t always happen.
"You have to hang on through a difficult period and come out with a point, and we’ve been able to do that."
Everton are now one point adrift of the Champions League qualification berths, although their return of 16 points from their first nine games matches their best since 2004.
And Jagielka believes Moyes’ men will be in a prime position to push on after Christmas if they can maintain their solid start.
"As long as we keep on picking up points like we have been doing, then the wins will come along," he added.
"That’ll keep us up to where we want to be. If we can get to the Christmas in the top five or top six, that’s somewhere where haven’t been in a long time.
"If we can do that, I’m sure the manager is confident enough the he can make us kick on again like he normally does in the New Year and we can finish higher up the league."