Everton boss David Moyes believes his team are involved in a relegation battle.
The Merseysiders are bottom of the Barclays Premier League after failing to win any of their opening six games. Few expect them to remain in the lower reaches of the table for long but Moyes is not afraid to use stark terminology.
"If you are in the bottom three you are in a relegation battle, whether it is after two games of the season or 32. It is still the same. If you are in the bottom three you have got to get out of it. It is a position - I don't know if you can call it false - and it is there staring us in the face," said Moyes.
"You take it and try to move away from it."
Aside from a 1-0 loss to Newcastle a fortnight ago, Moyes has been happy with performances and he feels his side deserve much more than the three points they have collected but concedes two main factors are hindering them - isolated errors and, chiefly, a lack of goals.
The Toffees have scored just four times in the league - three in one game against Manchester United - with none coming from out-and-out strikers.
Of his regular forwards, Louis Saha has been out injured, Ayegbeni Yakubu is finding his way back to form and fitness and summer signing Jermaine Beckford is still adjusting to the top flight.
Moyes said: "Goals always change games. If you score and you win people don't talk about performance. What we have not done is score the goals to change the games.
"There have been one or two mistakes which have led to the opposition winning. We need to score a few more goals and keep a few more clean sheets.
"Teams can score very good goals against you and there is nothing you can do about that, but certainly the goals against Wolves and Blackburn were self-inflicted."