Frank Lampard is wary of over-motivating his Chelsea squad for their crucial Premier League finale against Wolves, saying the situation is worlds apart from the "pretty shocking" scenario he and his team-mates faced in the 2002-03 season.
The Blues need just a point at Stamford Bridge on Sunday to confirm a top-four place and secure Champions League football in Lampard's first full season in charge, with the FA Cup final against Arsenal still to come.
It would mark a solid achievement for a Chelsea side that was subject to a transfer ban when Lampard arrived, with his remit to blood several of the club's promising youngsters.
When previewing the game with reporters on Friday, Lampard recalled the circumstances of 2003 when Chelsea defeated Liverpool to earn Champions League football on the final day.
At that time, Chelsea were teetering on the brink of administration a few months before Roman Abramovich's takeover of the club altered the course of history.
Lampard recalled how the team were given a talk by an army general on that situation but says the circumstances on this occasion do not need such measures.
"It was pretty shocking, I suppose. Because in a footballer's life we strive for success but you're also aware that we're lucky to do the things we do, play for a club like Chelsea where we're all enjoying it, and you feel very proud to do so," Lampard said.
"And when you hear that you're one game at the club from going out of business or administration, whatever it was at the time, it's a huge deal.
"I was loving playing for Chelsea as we all were, we had a good group of young players and some experienced players, and the idea that that might turn on one game was very hard-hitting.
"It was very inspiring of course, and the story ends well, so it's great we managed to get the result we needed.
"I remember we had an army general come to the hotel to speak to us in a motivational talk that was actually really good.
"And then we went out and produced, so it was a huge day for Chelsea Football Club as a whole, and something really interesting to be a part of.
"It was one of the big experiences in my life because of what it meant going forward.
"I think that's the balance [in terms of motivating players] you strive for, and we all have our own ways of doing it. My experience is when it feels very real, or when it feels the right moment, it does so.
"If you try too hard to overplay something, to over-motivate, or go completely out of the box, I think you have to be quite careful.
"It was a very good tool at the time to have the army general.
"When we played in the Champions League final with [Roberto] Di Matteo we had videos of our children saying, 'good luck' and, 'we love you' and all that stuff, which was a completely different tone.
"So it just shows you the spectrum and how it can work. We're not quite in that situation this time as I mentioned before.
"The club was on the line in 2003, the Champions League final was a huge moment, and now we're in a moment where at the end of our season we have an opportunity to get into a position where maybe people didn't expect us to be in.
"But I think it would be some form of achievement, not the ultimate achievement, but some form of achievement, so I'll let the players know that in various shaped terms. And they have to feel it, which is the most important thing."
Many pundits tipped Chelsea to miss out on the top four this season, but Lampard was reluctant to judge his own performance.
"I don't like the question much and no disrespect, I much prefer other people to do that, and plenty will," he said.
"I don't feel like it will absolutely depend on what happens in the next 10 days or whatever because I feel like some things are slightly out of control when it comes down to one game.
"Some of the strides we have made generally next year, how we look forward to next year and how we look forward to how our summer may be, or the window may be for us, then I hope there will be really positive things for us to come.
"All I have done is work to get us in this position now. Let's hope we do get the right results in the next 10 days, if we do, then I will certainly be very happy because I know I have given everything I can to this job this year and I suppose that's all I can ask of myself really - and to try to improve going forward.
"I will let everyone else do the analysing, I suppose."