Lampard’s team has won 10 of their past 12 home games, and a noisy Goodison Park, both outside and inside during the game, will play a key role in their future with two more home games remaining.
Burnley and Leeds, who have a worse goal difference, are just two points behind Everton, who have a game in hand – at home to Crystal Palace three days before the season’s end – so their fate is still up to them.
Lampard, on the other hand, is wary. He said,
“I’m not sure what’s in your hands around the table’s bottom,” the Everton manager continued.
“If it were Liverpool and Manchester City, you’d believe they’d win every game, and having them in your hands at that stage would be fantastic.” But, realistically, do we expect Burnley to win every game? At the moment, I’d say yes! Is it reasonable to expect Leeds to win every game?
“It’s difficult to describe what we have in our hands since we can only control so much – and that’s when we play.
“The toughest part about yesterday was that we couldn’t control Burnley. Leeds is beyond our control. Only we have power over ourselves. We’ll have to keep our cool in each of the five games to get enough points. That (total) is unknown to us.
“I have the impression there is still a long way to go.”
Lampard thought it was important to explain to his players the realities of the club’s delicate circumstances ahead of Chelsea’s arrival, and he was pleased with their response.
He wanted to handle the situation before his side arrived at Goodison Park after Burnley’s late comeback against Watford on Saturday had left them five points adrift of safety.
“I believe it was a critical time to discuss the truth of the issue,” he stated.
“You can tell the players to believe all you want. Then there are occasions when the demands are similar to this.
“It’s not enough to be decent boys to stay in this league. The table’s appearance is obvious.
” I felt that we needed an extra kick, a little extra attention, and to be honest, the guys delivered.”
“I discussed it (the Burnley result) briefly to the players this morning because I wanted to make sure the points disparity wasn’t causing dread or a lack of optimism.”