Goals from Tim Cahill and Leighton Baines ensured the Toffees 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.
The Everton boss 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."