John Terry has warned his Chelsea team-mates to shake off the poor form that has gripped them in recent weeks as the Blues captain prepares to return from injury against Everton tomorrow.
Terry is expected to feature for the Premier League champions this weekend after three weeks out of action with a sciatic nerve problem in his right leg. The England defender's return is well-timed for Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti, who has seen his side go three league games without a win in Terry's absence.
Terry, who consulted with Milan specialist Dr Jean-Pierre Meersseman in a bid to recover from an injury which was initially expected to keep him out for months, is disappointed with the tame way Chelsea crumbled to defeats against Sunderland and Birmingham City, then drew with Newcastle United.
His team were top of the table after his last appearance against Fulham but now trail Manchester United by two points. They have also failed to keep a clean sheet in that time and Terry knows that must change quickly.
"I think overall defensively, midfield and attack, we've not been as good as we should have been. That's because we set our standards so high and started the season so well," Terry said.
"We have dropped too many points recently. Looking back only two or three weeks ago we were so many points clear and in the goal difference as well. Now both gaps have been closed.
"We need to get back to winning ways sooner rather than later. I think we have played well the last couple of games and on another day three or four may have gone in. At times you need to work hard and push for your luck. It's not going to be given to you in life and sometimes you need to make your own if it's not happening for you.
"By the looks of things we are getting two or three players back. Hopefully Michael [Essien] will return at the weekend as will I. I have trained the last couple of days and Frank [Lampard] is not too far away."