Everton boss David Moyes claims his side are in a relegation battle despite being just six games into the new season.
The Merseysiders are the only Premier League team still to win this term and are bottom of the table having lost three and drawn three so far.
Few expect the Toffees to remain in the lower reaches of the league for long but Moyes has turned up the heat on his players in a bid to spark a reaction at Birmingham on Saturday.
"If you are in the bottom three you are in a relegation battle," he said. "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. You take it and try to move away from it."
Apart for the 1-0 home defeat by Newcastle two weeks ago, Moyes has been happy his side's performances.
But individual errors and a lack of goals has cost them, with Moyes' men scoring just four goals so far - and most of them were in the 3-3 draw against Manchester United.
None of those came from out-and-out strikers as Louis Saha has been out injured, Yakubu Aiyegbeni is finding his way back to form and fitness and summer signing Jermaine Beckford is still adjusting to the top flight.
"Goals always change games," said Moyes. "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.
"I can't see an awful lot we are doing wrong, " added the Everton boss. "Most of the stats are in our favour. I can't really be that critical.
"I'm going through it with a fine-tooth comb and I have to find the way of getting results and that is what I am trying to do."
Yakubu cost Moyes a club-record £11.25million from Middlesbrough in August 2007 but has failed to deliver since scoring 15 goals in 26 league starts during his first season.
The Nigeria international, 27, has been hampered by injury and missed the start of the current campaign due to a lack of match fitness after the World Cup.
"It is not a goal I need from him - it is probably 12 or 15 goals," said Moyes. "One goal isn't enough - but he has got to start with one to get more.
"He has played two-and-a-half games, he is getting his chances and he has got to start delivering. But I'm looking at all the players."