Joleon Lescott has urged his Everton colleagues to stay positive despite dropping two points at Birmingham on Saturday.
With The Toffees being held at St Andrews and rivals Liverpool beating Blackburn on Sunday, hopes of landing the final UEFA Champions League place have all but disappeared.
However, Lescott, who has been inspirational this season, believes his team-mates should be thrilled with their efforts and results to date and not let their heads drop over their weekend disappointment.
"We know it is going to be tough now but if you had told us in August that we would be in contention for fourth place with four games to go, we'd have taken it," he told the Liverpool echo.
"We can't afford to be too disappointed. We have got to take the positives and remember that we have made progress again this year."
"Last season we finished sixth but already we have got more points than then. Now we want to make sure that we finish no lower than fifth.
"But the way we played earlier in the season is not going to guarantee anything for us. We have still got a lot of hard work to do.
"There are a lot of hard games to go and we have got to make sure that we work exceptionally hard to get that place in Europe."