Everton manager David Moyes is on the look-out for more "quality" players this summer but refuses to give up on snatching a fourth-placed finish with his current squad.
Injuries to Andrew Johnson, Tim Cahill and James Vaughan have contributed to the Toffees picking up just one point from their last three games, which has allowed Liverpool to go five points clear in the final Champions League qualifying place.
Everton hope to put the pressure back on their Merseyside rivals this weekend as they host relegated Derby with Liverpool visiting Arsenal.
And Moyes hopes to build a stronger squad in the close season to ensure they mount a renewed bid for Champions League football next season.
"I would say that maybe we don't need more players, just more players with quality," he said.
"We sold James McFadden and then picked up some serious injuries to Cahill and Vaughan. That takes its toll.
"I am happy with the numbers here, just that one or two have not worked or offered enough to the squad. That has affected things. We have always been looking to add to the numbers, but mainly to the quality."
Everton are four points clear of sixth-placed Portsmouth, who have an FA Cup semi-final with West Brom this weekend.
And although they face an uphill battle to claim fourth spot, Moyes has urged his side to ensure they finish at least fifth in order to secure a place in next season's Uefa Cup.
Close the gap
"We lost the Merseyside derby last week, which gave Liverpool a five-point lead on us, so we must now make sure that we do not let the teams behind us close the gap on us," he said.
"We are not out of the race for fourth, but it is much more difficult now. But we are still there and will keep trying to make it.
"We have six (games) left and four of those at home. We must make sure we win the home games and that will give us a very decent end to the season. We have a good opportunity to certainly get fifth, for sure."
Everton have been warm-weather training in Marbella this week and Andrew Johnson is set to come back from a groin injury while Victor Anichebe has recovered from illness.
"The players have been away and we would normally like to do something like this during the season," Moyes added. "We have been in the Uefa Cup and we would have preferred to still be in it this week, rather than in Spain.
"So with six games left in the Premier League we took the chance of a break so that everyone is ready for the final push.
"The weather was good and we got some excellent work in. Now we are ready for the challenge."