Everton manager Frank Lampard has warned his players that “it is very dangerous to relax” despite a recent upturn in form that has seen them rise out of the Premier League relegation zone.
The Merseyside club defeated Leicester City 2-1 at the King Power Stadium on Sunday - their third win in five games that lifted them up to 16th in the table, one point above the drop zone with a game in hand on rivals Leeds United and Burnley.
That win against the Foxes was Everton's first on the road since August, with two more away games to come before the end of the season.
Next up are relegated Watford at Vicarage Road on Wednesday but Lampard made it clear that Everton cannot afford to underestimate their opponents or think the job is done in the battle to stay up.
“It’s the only message for us. As much as we enjoyed the weekend, it was a game which got us out of the relegation zone with four games to go but it is very dangerous to relax on that,” said Lampard.
“As much as we can talk about the fans, us as players and staff, the only message is we have to go now and finish the job, which is a tough job.
“We have to expect the worst, everyone else can win, but we can control ourselves so there is absolutely no way we can relax. That’s the biggest message.
“To underestimate it because Watford are relegated would be our biggest danger. Every game in the Premier League is dangerous, especially when you travel away. The minute you think you have cracked it, it becomes dangerous.
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“Getting one result doesn't mean you get more. The team are together in every moment, we fought, had good chances and individuals played good games.
“That is what gets you good results away in the league. To consistently do that is the challenge.”
Everton are likely to be without centre-back Yerry Mina until the final-day trip to Arsenal after the Colombia international was forced off with a calf injury at Leicester.
In the three matches Mina has played since returning from a thigh problem which kept him out for over two months, the club have taken seven points – although he was only on the field for 18 minutes at the King Power Stadium.
“Yerry has a small injury in his calf and so he won’t be playing,” said Lampard. “We’re probably looking towards the last game that he’ll be available for.”