Everton are moving forward under Marco Silva, claims Leon Osman, and that's why fans will stick by the team despite losing to bottom side West Ham at home yesterday.
Andriy Yarmolenko scored twice on his first Premier League start to give the Hammers a 2-0 lead before Gylfi Sigurdsson pulled one back just before half-time.
But Marko Arnautovic added a third to seal the victory and give Manuel Pellegrini his first win as West Ham manager.
Everton were left frustrated, especially having had the majority of possession and more shots than their opponents.
But Osman, who spent nearly two decades playing for the Toffees, reckons Everton showed enough on the ball to encourage their supporters - even if six points from five games is a worse start than Sam Allardyce had last season.
"Sam Allardyce got a lot of criticism when he came in last season but it wasn't those first five games he was getting criticised for, it was the following 15!" Osman told Ian Stone's Comedy Breakfast.
"When you first come into a club, usually you get a little bit of reaction and Sam is fantastic at getting that from his teams and yes, it looked positive at that point but there was no progression.
"Every game seemed the same. This has turned into a pretty average start for Marco Silva after a potentially good one, but despite that there is progression, you can see patterns of play within the team, you can see little things that they're trying.
"It hasn't always paid off but that's always something that happens slowly when you're a new manager taking over a new team, seeing your patterns of play work on the field.
"But as fans, me personally, I can see them happening and that's the positive."
West Ham had only scored once in their first four games of the season but jumped from rock bottom of the table to 16th with their first win of the year.
💪| West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini had strong words for his critics who questioned his style of play, saying he won't change his philosophy after a few bad results.— LOVE SPORT Radio (@lovesportradio) September 17, 2018
🤔| Is this the result to kick start West Ham's rise up the table? @WestHamWorld pic.twitter.com/5QRFwI5MX1
And having spent £100million over the summer, the pressure was already growing on Pellegrini.
But the Argentinian benefited, in Osman's opinion, both from a successful combination of his own players and a shortage of Evertonian personnel in defence.
"West Ham finally found a system and a group of players that seem to be able to play together," Osman added.
"It's not easy when you're bringing in as many players as West Ham have.
"They've chopped and changed in the first four or five games and they've finally found a team that worked.
"From an Everton point of view, sloppy defensively.
"It was very poor from the two centre-halves to give Arnautovic as much space, just for a little shimmy, clever from Arnautovic but Holgate got caught out on both occasions for the goals.
"But in an attacking sense, Everton created more chances than they have at any point his season, with more efforts on goal, but they need to finish better as well."