Steven Gerrard insists Liverpool head into the final seven games of the season knowing fully what is required of them in order to achieve success.

Following Saturday's results, the Reds can return to the top of the Barclays Premier League table if they avoid defeat against Tottenham Hotspur at Anfield on Sunday.

However, Gerrard feels the compact nature at the summit of the standings means Liverpool can ill-afford any slip-ups between now and the end of the campaign.

"It's sometimes easier when you have that target and you know exactly what you have to do," said the captain.

"We have struggled over the years at home against sides who we should have beaten comfortably.

"We've not really had much to play for at this time of year [in the past few years], but we know the prize that is there at the end.

"We know we can't afford to underperform, take anybody lightly or come into a game with the wrong mentality.

"That's when the slip-up will happen, and we'll be out of it."

Despite Liverpool's position in the table heading into spring, Gerrard is adamant he's not about to start getting carried away - a message he'll also be stressing to his teammates.

"I'm trying not to dare to believe," he said. "Don't get me wrong, it's flashed in and out of the mind from time to time but I think with experience I have learned this can be a ruthless league and one bad performance or one bad error could lead to a draw or a defeat.

"We have to remain focused and just think about the next game. The message is that we have won nothing yet.

"We are in a title race. We can't get away from that, we can't deny that as it would just be stupid but from experience I would never get carried away.

"The games are coming thick and fast and there's no time to think, which is a good thing really.

"When you have too much time to think, that's when your mind starts wondering 'what if, what if'.

"Sunderland was a good win for us. Everybody was expecting us to roll them over four or five, but it's the same amount of points for the win at the end of the day."

With Chelsea losing at Crystal Palace and Manchester City drawing at Arsenal, Liverpool will go into today's clash with Spurs knowing how priceless three points could prove to be.

However, Gerrard insists his younger teammates should hold no fear.

"We are a young team, so it's important the experienced lads keep the younger players' feet on the ground and remain humble," said the 33-year-old.

"But the youngsters shouldn't have any fear. We have some terrific young players who have fantastic futures ahead of them. It should be me getting anxious, as I'm the one running out of time!

"We have to keep trying to get over each hurdle each game, and they are all different tests.

"Sunderland were a side who came to draw with two holding midfielders and five across the back.

"It was difficult for us to break them down but we showed a great winning mentality by hanging on in there and seeing the game out."

Tottenham come to Anfield in sixth position in the table and still very much in the hunt for a top-four finish.

Gerrard concluded: "It will be a tough game. Tottenham are one of the strongest sides away from home in the Premier League.

"When they have been getting criticism, it's usually been in front of their own fans when the pressure has been on them.

"But they are certainly a good team on the road.

"They have had no midweek game so they will be fresh. We are expecting a tough game. We are in the situation now where we have got to win every game.

"It a cup final mentality, and we have seven to go. We have to go and try win them all."