Everton manager David Moyes has lowered expectations this season and feels his side will struggle to finish in the top ten.
Financial restraints at Goodison Park have meant the Toffees have been unable to bring in any new players, and Moyes has had to watch the clubs who finished below them last season make considerable investment.
"I think we are going to have a big struggle to finish in the top ten this season," he said. "My hope is to do as well as we can. It is well-documented what has happened in terms of clubs buying to improve and I don't just mean the top clubs.
"I can see the likes of West Brom, Stoke, Fulham and Sunderland have all tried to improve and the reason they have done that is to finish where Everton can. We have tended to be somewhere fifth, sixth, seventh over the last five years.
"We have to aim to do that if we can but I think it will be tougher for us this season. Last season I had higher expectations so maybe people think we have dropped expectations - but when they do that we tend to do better but seventh place will be a tough finish looking at it right now.
"I am incredibly ambitious and want to win something with Everton. If we can get the players I have brought here firing we have a good side."