LAMPARD: THERE'S A LONG WAY TO GO
Frank Lampard, captain at Villa Park in the absence of John Terry, has reassured supporters that there is no loss of belief within the Chelsea camp despite no win since before Christmas.
Regretting his own late miss against Aston Villa, as well as some early chances not taken in an otherwise steady performance, Lampard insisted:
'Six points is the gap and we have to attack that in a positive way.
'I am confident. There are many points to play for and there is a lot of confidence in this team. That is why we were champions two years-in-a-row.
'People only get carried away because of the standards we have set for two seasons but it is quite normal to have periods in a season where it doesn't quite go for you.
'Last season we were about 15 points clear of Man U and Liverpool and all of a sudden we had a little blip and it cut down to six or seven at one stage. So you have to look at the big picture rather than just a few games.'
Indeed last season contained a run of one defeat and three draws in league and cup that ended with a 1-1 scoreline at Villa Park at the start of February.
'The fact that people are asking questions after a few draws is a statement of what a team we are,' continued Lampard.
'It is certainly not a crisis but it is something we need to address because we are not used to not getting three points for three games in a row.
'It is important we keep doing things the right way. Games haven't gone our way but you can't dwell on that.
'Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho are both wise enough to know there is a long way to go. They have to talk after every game which gives some headlines but in the end, the football will do the talking.'
In common with everyone with a passion for Chelsea, Lampard has been buoyed by Mourinho's announcement that he expects Petr Cech back in action by mid-January.
'That is a great boost. For me he is the best goalkeeper in the world. We have been unfortunate.
'Credit to Hilario for coming in but we have lost two goalkeepers who have been up among the best in the Premiership for a long time. So Petr coming back is a big bonus.'