Everton manager Sam Allardyce has revealed that he has turned to a sports psychologist in an attempt to get the best out of his players in the remaining weeks of the campaign.
Allardyce believes that the mindset of his squad is to blame, rather than his own tactics, and he is now utilising the club's in-house expert to get to the bottom of the problem.
"We tried a number of things. I think a change of systems, a change of personnel but I think a change of mentality is the big one," he told reporters ahead of Saturday's meeting with Stoke City. "They are getting some help with that. We have used our in-house sports psychologist who has been here for a while and slowly he has integrated himself in some of the sessions with some of the players.
"We've been using a bit more work into the mind in the analysis room about who we are, what do we want to get and what we want to achieve. The main thing is the focus on being mindful and visualising the performance you give at the top level, and thinking about that to put yourself in a positive frame of mind before you run out on to the field on a Saturday.
"All your preparation tactically and technically is fine but if the player spends a little bit of time thinking about his best performance and putting himself in the right frame of mind, then that best performance has a better chance of being delivered."
Everton have a two-week gap between games following this weekend's trip to Stoke in the top flight.