Everton defender Seamus Coleman has warned his team-mates they must be on their guard this weekend against a Sunderland side who will be ‘fighting for their lives’.
The Black Cats travel to Goodison Park on the back of an awful result and performance at home to Southampton in their last run-out.
Sunderland crashed to a 4-0 defeat, leaving them bottom of the Premier League table.
Everton, on the other hand, are in the middle of a good run of form which sees them unbeaten in eight games after a draw with Middlesbrough last time out.
Irish full-back Coleman, however, says they can’t afford to be complacent about the fixture as he comes up against the manager who brought him to England in David Moyes.
He said: “It’s the boring answer but you can only focus on the next game.
“If you look too far ahead at a run of games and try to imagine where you could be in the table, you take your eye off the ball and you’ll get punished for that.
“We’re focused on Sunderland. We know they’ll be fighting for their lives, especially after the result they had last time out and we need to be ready for them.”
Sunderland spent last week in New York on a team-bonding trip as Moyes tries to get some extra spirit into the camp.
Everton, meanwhile, had a warm-weather training camp in Dubai, rounded off with a friendly against a Chinese side which they won 4-0.
Coleman added: “We have worked hard in Dubai and we’ll continue to prepare for the next game this week.”