Everton captain Phil Jagielka believes judgment should be reserved on manager Sam Allardyce until next season.
The Toffees boss has come in for criticism from fans unhappy with the style of football he has introduced since replacing Ronald Koeman in November, and speculation he could be replaced at the end of the campaign continues.
However, Jagielka insists Allardyce has achieved the task he was immediately brought in to do in steering the club away from the relegation zone, and that he needs a full preseason over the summer to properly implement his plans.
"It is all about picking up points until the end of the season, getting momentum and confidence,'' the centre-back told evertontv.
"Hopefully by the time next season starts, the manager will have things how he wants them and he can be judged from there.
"The job for the new management team was to make sure we were nowhere near relegation trouble and that seems to be the case now. It is little baby steps and we would like to be higher up the table.
"We are not too far behind seventh [they trail Burnley by three points] and eighth and we want to put up a decent fight for those positions.
"Since the whole management team came in it has been a positive turnaround and things recently have been going OK.''