David Moyes believes Manchester City still have much to do to prove themselves as true title challengers.
City, who have spent more than £350million in the transfer market since Sheikh Mansour's takeover in 2008, have been hampered this season by a series of stories concerning off-field disharmony. Despite these issues, City will move a point clear at the summit - albeit having played two games more than rivals Manchester United - by beating Everton at Eastlands.
Moyes said: "Money isn't always the answer but if you are going to win things you have to spend money. If you want a quick return to overtake the Manchester Uniteds and Chelseas of this world, you are going to have to spend good money to get there. But even that isn't guaranteed."
He added: "There is a time of bedding in and there will be people who have to go and you'll have to bring more people in.
"It takes time to get it all to happen. I don't think you can do it that quickly but I think Manchester City are getting themselves in a position at the right end of the table for what they are spending. They will probably hope to see some rewards for it."
Moyes has been able to spend only a tiny fraction of City's outlay and his biggest signing last summer was Jermaine Beckford on a free transfer from Leeds. He has already admitted he will probably have to concentrate on the loan market if he wants to strengthen his squad during next month's transfer window.
Everton have struggled this term and are labouring in 15th, just two points above the bottom three, and with only 18 goals to their name from 17 games. But having held Champions League sides Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea to draws, Moyes is hoping his players can again raise performance levels for the toughest opposition.
He said: "We think we have done well against some of the sides that are seen as the top teams in the league.
"It is difficult that when we have come to play teams we should be beating we have not been able to do that.
"That's a little bit the way it's been this year but our record against the better teams has been quite good. We have also had one or two good results away from home and we will try to keep that going."