David Moyes concedes that his Everton squad lacks the strength in depth enjoyed by some of their rivals.
The Toffees boss saw his side lose 2-0 to Chicago Fire in their latest pre-season outing on Wednesday and admits that he needs some new additions to freshen things up at Goodison Park.
The Scot was forced to use a number of youngsters during the American contest and acknowledges that there needs to be greater competition for places at the club.
"We can't hide the fact that we need new players at Everton," he told the club's official website.
"Everybody knows it, I know it, the players know it - we have to get five or six players in before the season starts.
"It's okay getting fit, but you've got to be able to play better and at the moment there's not enough competition for the players to realise that if they play poorly they won't be selected."
A miserable night for the Toffees against their MLS opponents was compounded when James Vaughan received his marching orders in injury time.
The young striker was punished for a reckless tackle on Daniel Woolard and has been warned about his future conduct by Moyes.
"It was a terrible tackle from James Vaughan," said the Everton boss.
"I've told him and I just won't have that.
"He's apologised but it's the player he made the tackle on he should be apologising to."