Everton manager David Moyes believes his side are coming strong at the right time of the season to mount a challenge for Europe.
Wednesday night's 2-0 victory over Sunderland was the Toffees' eighth Barclays Premier League match unbeaten, with three wins out of the last four games.
Numerous injuries contributed to a difficult first half of the campaign, which saw Everton slip to 16th at the end of November after their Merseyside derby defeat to Liverpool.
However, they have not lost in the league since then and are up to ninth in the table.
With the likes of Mikel Arteta and Victor Anichebe returning from almost a year out with serious knee problems - both came off the bench for the last 15 minutes against Sunderland - things are looking up for Moyes.
"Sometimes it goes a little bit unnoticed," said the Everton manager of his side's unbeaten run and gradual progress up the league. I am looking for a high quality all the time and a lot of those games we drew, although some of them were important to us at the time."