After a run of five defeats in six Barclays Premier League matches left the Toffees 17th in the table, back-to-back wins over Wolverhampton Wanderers and Bolton Wanderers have lifted them up to ninth, having played one match fewer than most of their rivals.

However, Howard is aware how quickly things can change and is keen for everyone to maintain a level head.

"We try not to get caught up in the outside hype because it can all come out in the wash quickly," he said.

"From one week to the next your emotions are up, then they're down. If we win, it's a great week at training and everyone is buzzing. If we lose, you feel the pressure and it's intense.

"We're getting stronger and stronger, and since I've been here we start to respond during hard periods and really push on.

"We went through a horrible run of games but two games later it looks okay.

"We won two on the bounce, which is very hard in this league, and you shoot up the table."

good job

Everton recorded only their second clean sheet of the season in the 2-0 win at the Reebok Stadium and Howard feels that was important.

"The biggest thing I need is the back four playing at a high level, limiting opportunities and putting in performances," he told the Liverpool Echo.

"We've done that and done a really good job. It's getting harder and harder to get clean sheets now. So many goals get scored in the Premier League and for whatever reason they're hard to come by.

"It's why you're so happy when you finally get one.

"There's so much going on in this league - we have some of the world's best players - and one moment of hesitation in a game, one slip-up and 'bang', somebody will capitalise on it."