Everton defender Sylvain Distin believes the club should be given greater credit for their achievements this season.
A draw at home to Aston Villa at the weekend lifted the Toffees up to seventh, just behind near-neighbours Liverpool and above Bolton.
"We move up every game. It's strange because I think the fans, and us as players, are frustrated," said the centre-back.
"But when you look at where we are now, seventh, and the teams around us and what they've spent and the size of their squads, I think we should be prouder.
"Look at our bench compared to Villa's. We had young players, several teenagers and none of them with Premier League experience.
"They had Robert Pires, Emile Heskey, Stiliyan Petrov and people like that.
"I can understand the frustration from the fans and the players are the same but you have to look at the big picture and be proud of what we're doing.
"We didn't spend much last summer and again in January."
One of the youngsters Distin referred to, Magaye Gueye, was introduced as a 52nd-minute substitute for his Premier League debut.
The 20-year-old was pressed into action because of Everton's crippling injury problems and Distin believes his fellow Frenchman has the qualities to succeed.
"Magaye has got tremendous quality. He's a good guy with a great mentality," he told the Liverpool Echo.
"He reminds me a bit of me when I came to England and I'm trying to help him; it's not easy at his age to leave your family and friends and come to England.
"But he has a lot of potential and his mindset is right. He needs to carry on working and being patient.
"Magaye will play again and more people will see what he can do.
"He understands the intensity of English football and put his foot in when he had to and won the ball. He has got it all to be successful."