Everton are now sixth place in the Premier League table after a scrappy but deserved 1-0 victory over Cardiff City at Goodison Park on Saturday afternoon.
The Toffees were by no means at their best against the Bluebirds but ground out a victory they might not have in previous campaigns.
Five wins out of seven
The fact that Everton have now won five of their last seven Premier League games shows that the Toffees recent form is encouraging. The Merseysiders will be ruing missed opportunities early in the season, when they had injuries and let leads slip in games.
The fact that boss Marco Silva has a near fully-fit group of players to choose from has no doubt helped the team produce some decent results of late, with a gritty goalless draw at Chelsea one major positive of late.
Everton boss Silva is renowned for his adventurous style of play. Many claimed that the Toffees would struggle defensively under the Portuguese boss. In the early months of the season, there were signs that the theory could hold some weight.
However, in recent games, the Toffees have married good football with solid defensive displays. Silva’s team have now conceded a respectable four goals in their last seven top-flight outings.
England international centre-back Michael Keane deserves special praise, as the former Burnley defender looks to be back to his best at the heart of the defence after a nightmare debut campaign on Merseyside.
Merseyside derby a big test
Next weekend Everton face a major test of just how far they have come when they cross Stanley Park to face title-challenging neighbours Liverpool at Anfield.
The Toffees have a woeful recent record against their neighbours but have already produced spirit displays at the Emirates, Old Trafford and Stamford Bridge, despite only coming away with only a point from the three outings.
Everton claimed a point in a 1-1 draw at Anfield last season. However, that was by employing an ultra-cautious approach. Silva will be more adventurous in his approach to the game, which could go either way.
Even if the Toffees are defeated, but produce a good display, most Evertonian’s will believe that the team have well and truly progressed from the turgid stint of Sam Allardyce.
Can Everton continue their decent run next weekend at Anfield?