Everton manager Frank Lampard says he cannot afford to consider the crucial victory over Chelsea as the pivotal moment in their battle against relegation until he sees more consistency from his side.
The 1-0 win at a raucous Goodison Park prevented the Toffees being cut five points adrift in 18th place, albeit with a match in hand, but, with five games to go, the job of safeguarding a 67-year stay in the top flight is far from over.
While Everton have taken 10 points from a possible 12 at home their form on the road, where three of their last five matches take place, remains woeful with their only win way back in August.
Lampard said now is not the time to bask in the glow of another great Goodison result.
“I don’t think we have shown enough consistency to claim it is pivotal,” he said after the win which keeps Leeds, with a vastly-inferior goal difference, and Burnley in their sights just two points ahead.
“We have had moments – Leeds, Manchester United, Newcastle (all home wins) and we didn’t carry on with it and now it is critical we carry on with it.
“I think it would be naive to think it is a pivotal moment. What is clear if we can carry on with the same levels of spirit and quality and desire we can make it a pivotal moment.
“It is the application of the job that will get us over the line. The basics are the same: we have got to run more, show more desire, tackle harder than the opposition.”
Where Lampard has found some consistency is in the goalscoring form of Richarlison, and not before time.
With Dominic Calvert-Lewin having managed only 13 Premier League appearances this season due to injury the Brazil international has usually found himself as the de facto centre-forward.
He has now scored as many goals (four) in his last five league matches as he did in his first 21 of the season.
“I thought it was first class, and it needed to be,” said Lampard of the Brazilian’s performance against Chelsea.
“I prodded Richy pre-game because he always gives that sort of effort but it has to be directed in the right way, in terms of energy and output to put people under pressure.
“For the level of striker he can be he has to be clinical and he was and he won us the game through that.”
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has consistency problems of his own as they have taken just four points from the last four matches and kept one clean sheet.
That has left them looking at a three-way battle for two Champions League spots.
They have scored just four times in that run, two of which came in a defeat to Arsenal, but the German – who left former Everton striker Romelu Lukaku on the bench at Goodison Park – believes the issues are at the back rather than up front.
“If there is something I can do I will try but if I knew about it I would have done something before,” he said.
“The key is to have a clean sheet. It was a different game to Manchester United, which was more open and fluid and, when we finally scored late, we conceded straight away.
“The issue is we don’t have enough clean sheets, that’s the issue.”