Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson has urged his players not to take their return to form for granted as the team enters a pivotal period in the season.
The impressive 2-0 victory over Barclays Premier League leaders Chelsea rightly earned huge credit from all quarters. A third successive league win, and a fourth in all, has boosted confidence within the squad and lifted the team up to ninth in the table - their highest position since the opening weekend of the season.
They have now established a platform for themselves but the next 11 matches over the coming two months are likely to shape their season. Liverpool travel to Wigan on Wednesday and Stoke on Saturday with the fixture list then giving them games West Ham, Tottenham, Aston Villa, Newcastle, Fulham, Blackpool, Wolves, Bolton and Blackburn before the home Merseyside derby on January 16.
A good run during that spell will put them in prime position for a top-four finish and so Hodgson is keen for his side to maintain their momentum. "We have to be very careful. We have to get our feet back on the ground very quickly after the Chelsea victory," said the Liverpool manager. "There has been a lot of bad things written, false accusations and ludicrous stories being banded around.
"We have got through that by keeping our feet on the ground and trying to ignore it as best as possible and making sure it does not affect our work. We now have to make sure any praise does not affect our work. We have to realise we are capable of performances like the one against Chelsea but we are also capable of performances like the one against Blackpool when we were beaten 2-1.
"We have to try to get rid of one of those performances and keep the other. But we have four good wins behind us and let's hope we can get at least one win in the next two games as our form away from home has not been good traditionally this year."