Bruno Lage believes Wolves going past 40 points in the Premier League with 10 fixtures remaining should fill them with confidence for the rest of the season.
Reaching the 40-point barrier carries with it the expectation a side has secured their top-flight status for another season, and Wolves moved on to 43 by drubbing Watford 4-0 on Thursday evening.
Wolves struck three times in the first 21 minutes against the beleaguered Hornets – with efforts from Raul Jimenez and Daniel Podence sandwiching a Cucho Hernandez own goal – before Ruben Neves’ late chip completed the rout.
Ahead of Sunday’s trip to Everton, eighth-placed Wolves are looking upwards towards the European places rather than over their shoulders and head coach Lage insisted that can only augur well for them.
“That’s the target,” he said. “That’s the pressure I put on my players.
“I did a lot of pressure at half-time because I think at 3-0 you can sleep a little bit, not just us, also our fans, it was a quiet atmosphere and I think the players realised a bit, but I said I want to score more goals.
“It’s not about result, it’s about the performance. When we don’t have the ball, we need to be aggressive, we need to play compact, we cannot give spaces for the opponent and when we have the ball – go there.
“We have 43 points and that should give us the confidence to play with the ball the way we want to play.”
Everton have lost seven of their last eight league fixtures and are very much mired in a battle for survival under Frank Lampard, who has taken just three points from an available 15 since succeeding Rafael Benitez at the helm.
But Lage, who will again be without injured full-backs Ki-Jana Hoever and Nelson Semedo this weekend, expects a challenge at Goodison Park.
“They have a new manager, a different way to play, sometimes they play with four defenders, sometimes with five, so, let’s see,” Lage added.
“What I know is the manager has experience, he was a top player, and Everton have top players, so it should be also like every game in the Premier League – a tough one to play, But we need to go there with courage to play our game.
“What I want is what we did on Thursday, we reacted. We need to be aware and go there with confidence and no fear to play.”