High-flying Newcastle United are our next opponents at the Lane on Wednesday night in a match many are billing as our most important so far this season followed by a trip fourth-placed Chelsea on Saturday week, February 1.
Back-to-back wins against Everton and Villa see us sitting seventh in the Premiership just three points behind Chelsea.
Third-placed Newcastle stretched their lead over us to seven points after beating Bolton on Wednesday night.
"It is in our hands now," said midfielder Steffen. "After the FA Cup defeat I'm not sure many people would have believed we could come back how we have.
"But believe me, if we beat Newcastle, we are back.
"We have the chance to be in contact with them again because if we win, we are only four points behind.
"For me, this is one of the most important games of the season. I know everyone is looking forward to it."
Steffen Freund says it's testament to the lads' character that we're in position to further our European claims in our next two crucial fixtures.