Everton captain Phil Jagielka believes the club's striker shortage could prove costly in the race for UEFA Champions League qualification.
The Merseyside outfit fell a 1-0 defeat at fellow top-four hopefuls Tottenham on Sunday, with Emmanuel Adebayor's goal in the second half settling matters.
Defeat was somewhat harsh on an Everton side who enjoyed the better of large spells of the match, but Roberto Martinez's men were unable to break through the Tottenham defence, with winger Steven Naismith starting as an auxiliary forward in the absence of Romelu Lukaku, Lacina Traore and Arouna Kone.
January loan signing Traore was only fit enough for a place among the substitutes at the weekend, while Lukaku remains sidelined with an ankle issue and Kone is a long-term absentee with a knee injury.
Everton are now five points adrift of fourth-placed Liverpool, and Jagielka feels their lack of an out-and-out striker proved the difference at White Hart Lane.
"We're struggling a little bit at the moment," he told the Liverpool Echo. "Lacina is not quite right yet and it's difficult because although we played some good stuff we were perhaps missing that fox in the box or target man to get us the goal.
"It's frustrating and at the least we should probably have kept a clean sheet and come away with 0-0 but we didn't.
"It's going to be a little bit harder for us now, there are other teams in the mix for fourth.
"If we'd beat Spurs we'd have pushed on a little bit, but there's still 13 games left and a lot of points to play for.
"A lot of teams are trying to get as many points as they can for one reason or another and we've got a lot of hard games too."
|Coach: T. Sherwood|
for C. Eriksen 59'
for Paulinho 68'
for A. Lennon 85'
|PSG aim for improvement in Morocco|
|Jones: United could have scored four|
|Mignolet: Getting dropped helped me|
|A-League Preview: No concerns for Finkler ahead of Victory blockbuster|
|Milan, Atletico working on Torres-Cerci swap|
|Garbutt: Crisis talk premature|
|Zurich pair key for Tunisia|
|Uchida ruled out of Asian Cup|
|Lemina rejects Gabon call-up|
|Toure a doubt for Sunderland clash|
|Millen ´ready´ to manage Palace|
|Carver urges Newcastle to kick on|
|Bellarabi extends Leverkusen deal|
|Wenger hails ´committed´ Arsenal|
|Diouf will be missed - Hughes|
|Millen elated at resolute Palace performance|
|Lambert: Big point for Villa|
|Martinez rues Cisse decision|
|Dyche delighted by Burnley character|
|Allardyce: Officials got it horribly wrong|
|Poyet rues dropped points at Villa|
|Bruce frustrated as dominant display yields no points|
|Pellegrini laments key turning points in Burnley setback|
|Newcastle United 3 Everton 2: Pardew´s men impress at St James´ Park|
|League One Review: Swindon climb into second, MK Dons suffer surprise defeat|
|Championship Review: Bournemouth go four points clear, Boro held|
|Koeman hails Southampton spirit|
|Inverness Caledonian Thistle 0 Aberdeen 1: Pawlett strikes sends McInnes´ men second|
|Mourinho fumes at ´campaign´ against Chelsea|
|Manchester City 2 Burnley 2: Barnes claims a point to deny champions|
|West Ham 1 Arsenal 2: Wenger´s men climb above hosts|
|Hull City 0 Leicester City 1: Mahrez fires Pearson´s men to victory|
|QPR 0 Crystal Palace 0: Millen makes solid start as temporary Palace boss|
|Aston Villa 0 Sunderland 0: Delph sees red in stalemate|
|Stoke 2 West Brom 0: Diouf brace secures back-to-back wins|
|Southampton 1 Chelsea 1: Mourinho´s men end 2014 on top|
|Van Gaal frustrated with wasteful finishing|
|Pochettino content with goalless draw|
|Tottenham 0 Manchester United 0: Honours even at White Hart Lane|
|Klose vows to fight for Lazio place|
|Hughton admits interest in Palace and Brighton roles|
|Injuries not behind retirement plans, says Rolfes|
|Podolski: Arsenal exit not a formality|
|Wellington Phoenix 1 Western Sydney Wanderers 0: Krishna wins it|
|Taylor wary of ´beast´ Lukaku|
|Al Habsi to lead Oman at Asian Cup|
|Lacazette will stay at Lyon - Aulas|
|Southampton like Atletico, says Alderweireld|
|World Cup held PSG back - Blanc|
|Everton facing ´pivotal´ moment - Martinez|
|Zamora urges QPR to tie down Austin|
|Badstuber, Alaba set for New Year return|
|Burgos: Atletico will get the best out of Torres|
|Chelsea to offer Terry new deal - Mourinho|
|Rodgers excited by Sterling development|
|Strinic close to finalising Napoli switch|
|Torres to join Milan on permanent deal|
|Scottish Premiership Review: Celtic held to shock draw, rivals fail to capitalise|
|Wenger sings Song´s praises|
|Pochettino calls for bravery|
|West Ham could lose Allardyce - Sullivan|
|League One Preview: Saunders takes charge for Colchester clash|
|Aguirre denies any involvement in La Liga match-fixing scandal|
|Mourinho impressed by Koeman´s Southampton|
|QPR v Crystal Palace: Millen recast in familiar role|
|West Ham v Arsenal: Allardyce eyes further home comfort|
|Elusive Coppa Italia on Juventus´ wish list - Marotta|
|Jones eyes swift response|
|Millen focused on QPR clash|
|League Two Preview: Shrewsbury, Wycombe and Burton vie for year-end top spot|
|Mancini not expecting big-money signings at Inter|
|Tottenham v Manchester United: Carrick expects tough return|
|Pearson eager to see Leicester resolve|
|Newcastle United v Everton: Martinez demands clinical touch|
|Liverpool v Swansea City: Rodgers backs returning Mignolet|
|Bayern can still improve - Sammer|
|Warnock sacked by Palace|
|Aston Villa v Sunderland: No club too big to go down, says Lambert|
|Hull City v Leicester City: Pearson vows to keep going|
|Stoke City v West Brom: Hughes targets elusive back-to-back wins|
|Rodgers dismisses Balotelli exit rumours|
|Modric will not rush Madrid return|
|Dyche pleased with Vokes return|
|Southampton v Chelsea: Koeman vows to go on the offensive|
|A-League Review: Six-goal Gosford thriller, Victory leave it late|
|Manchester City v Burnley: Pellegrini warns against complacency|
|Dortmund can fight on two fronts - Watzke|
|Sterling hails improved Liverpool belief|
|Rosicky eager to build on QPR winner|
|Wenger: ´We made it hard for ourselves´|
|Kane: Spurs eye top four|
|Di Maria in doubt for Spurs clash|