Frank Lampard warned Chelsea not to get complacent after they took control of the race to qualify for the Champions League with a 4-0 demolition of Everton on Sunday.
Lampard’s side won for just the second time in seven league games thanks to goals from Mason Mount, Pedro, Willian and Olivier Giroud in a masterful display at Stamford Bridge.
Fourth-placed Chelsea are in pole position to qualify for the Champions League with nine games to play.
But Lampard doesn’t want his stars to rest on their laurels just yet.
Aware that inconsistency has been the Achilles heel of his promising young team, Lampard said: “We can’t get ahead of ourselves. I’m experienced enough to know we go to Aston Villa next week, they are fighting for their lives and we have to replicate this performance.
“There’s still a long way to go. It’s still close. Even if it looks like a cushion as I sit here now, it doesn’t feel that way.
“It’s in our hands, but I’m certainly not going to jump in and say we are favourites. We have had inconsistency at times this season.”
While Lampard struck a cautious note about Chelsea’s Champions League ambitions, the Blues boss was quick to praise his players for delivering their biggest league win of the season.
It was exactly what Lampard demanded after Chelsea got back on track with their FA Cup fifth round win over Liverpool on Tuesday.
“At home yes, it was our best performance, because of the goals and the clean sheet,” Lampard said.
“In terms of performance we have been close to that a lot. We haven’t got the hard bit, the goals. Today we reached that.
“The finishing, the energy in the team, the speed of the pass, getting after the ball. We saw some really good stuff.
“It’s encouraging. You will always need your squad. We have a lot of injuries. The only way to tackle that is to work hard, play with energy and trust either other.
“I thought the whole attitude and focus of the team felt strong after Liverpool.”