Ronald Koeman insists it is still possible for Everton to compete for a Champions League qualification place.
The Toffees have enjoyed a stunning run since the New Year, winning six of their last nine games to make up ground on dwindling Arsenal and Liverpool.
Saturday’s routine 2-0 win over Sunderland ensured Everton are just four points behind Manchester United and a further two behind fourth-placed Arsenal.
And Koeman believes his in-form side can still catch teams that are five or six points above Everton with 12 games of the season remaining.
‘The worst situation for a football player is you play for nothing,’ said Koeman. ‘Yeah, [we want] the highest position but I like to play for something.
‘Above us is still a gap but it is never ending, when it is five or six points it is still possible to reach them.
‘But the first team behind us is West Brom (four points back) and we get West Brom at home in two weeks.’
Everton will be hoping to make up yet more ground on the top four when they travel to White Hart Lane to face Tottenham next weekend.