Everton boss Frank Lampard has urged fans to be realistic with their expectations after an underwhelming start to the season.
Lampard's squad has been hit by a spate of serious injuries - including to key striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin. Three centre backs - Ben Godfrey, Yerry Mina and Mason Holgate - have now been injured in the first games of the campaign.
Asked whether his expectations had been changed by results and performances since the beginning of the season, Lampard explained: "They haven't changed anything. My expectations, I probably won't say out loud, but I think I will firm them up once we shut this window and see where the squad is at and we get Dominic Calvert-Lewin fit.
"I have got a big understanding of where we were last year. We came into the club at a tough time, we stayed up by the skin of our teeth with a huge amount of spirit, which is a big plus for the whole club, but there is a realisation of 'why were we there' and that's going to take some time, so I didn't go into this year thinking 'OK we've made signings - a loan, a free transfer and some signings - and think well that is us sorted we are going to fly up the league now.
"You have only got to look left and right and see £150m spent here, £150m spent there. So we just have to work, create a spirit and try and improve. [In] the first few games we deserved more points.
"I am pretty sure about that. But we haven't got as many as we would maybe want but that is football. We can moan about that through the year, every manager will say similar things at different points so I am very grounded on expectations."