Captain John Terry believes Chelsea are capable of moving clear at the top of the EPL in 2014.
Chelsea have won one Premier League title since Jose Mourinho’s departure in September 2007 — when Carlo Ancelotti led the Blues to a league and FA Cup double in 2009/10 — and were out of contention by Christmas in the last two seasons.
The Blues were 11 points behind last Christmas, but after Monday night’s goalless draw at Arsenal are fourth, two points behind Liverpool, who visit Stamford Bridge on Sunday and lead the Gunners on goal difference.
“The point still keeps us up there and amongst everyone,” Terry told Chelsea TV.
“We all know — and the fans have seen it home and away — that we can get better. So whilst everyone is dropping points around us, hopefully in the new year we have to start firing and put ourselves on a good run of games.
“If we do that we’re more than capable of pulling away from everyone.”
Mourinho called for a raucous backing from the Blues faithful when Swansea and then Liverpool visit in quick succession tomorrow and Sunday, with Chelsea firmly in title contention.
“I hope Stamford Bridge is there for us; Stamford Bridge with noise,” Mourinho said.
“On the last Boxing Day, Chelsea were 11 points behind the leader, out of the title race. And we are there. Two points behind both leaders. We are there so we have reasons to keep going. The way to get the first objective, which is top four and Champions League — which will be hard for everybody — is to be close in the title race. Let’s enjoy the moment.”
Chelsea showed a steeliness reminiscent of Mourinho’s first team at the Emirates Stadium to frustrate Arsenal.
Chelsea’s defence has come under scrutiny in recent weeks and Terry was pleased with just a second clean sheet in 12 league games.
“A lot of people have been speculating about us conceding too many,” Terry added.
“I think we’re third in the league in conceding (the fewest) goals and we’ve had a couple of games where we’ve conceded far too many than we’re used to, but overall we’ve been very solid defensively.”
Mourinho slams Arsenal
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has accused Arsenal of overreacting during the two sides’ feisty 0-0 draw.
During a full-blooded contest that saw a number of physical challenges, the Gunners’ staff and fans made their feelings clear over what they perceived to be an over-the-top approach from Mourinho’s men. “They like to cry -- that’s tradition. I prefer to say that English people -- and I give one example, Frank Lampard — would never provoke a situation like that,” Mourinho said.