Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti admits his team's two meetings with Manchester United will decide whether they have a chance of retaining their title.
Ancelotti's side recorded a first away victory since October with a 4-0 win over Bolton to close the gap to United, who travel to Blackpool on Tuesday, to seven points. The Stamford Bridge side have now recorded successive wins in the Premier League after picking up just one win in nine matches.
They are still some way behind a United team that has yet to lose in the Premier League this season, but Ancelotti has promised that Chelsea will be ready to pounce if Sir Alex Ferguson's side slip up. "To close the gap is not easy because in this moment Man United is so far ahead but we have to try to do everything to come back and step by step I think we can do it," said the Italian. "It depends on the performance of Man United, this is normal but our aim is to do everything to try to come back.
"Obviously if we think we can close the gap we have to win the games against them. But first we have to play them home and the most important thing is that we come back to use our power, our strength, our personality. For this reason we have to have confidence that this season can be good for us in the future."
Ancelotti is hopeful that Chelsea have now put their poor run behind them but feels they will be stronger after a difficult couple of months. "I think that I said before when you are able to move on from this moment you can be stronger and the most important thing is to maintain composure and nothing happened to change our focus," he said.
"We've won an important game and have other important games in the future, starting with Everton on Saturday (in the FA Cup). We know the way that we have to follow. It was an important performance against Bolton. We turned the corner and now we have to look forward with confidence, pay attention, continue to work hard and maintain confidence."
Ancelotti admits that Chelsea are no closer to completing the signing of Benfica's Brazilian defender David Luiz. Chelsea have had one offer for the centre-back rejected but remain keen to sign him this month.
"It's not done. We have to find an agreement," admitted Ancelotti. "We are trying to find an agreement with Benfica. Nothing is decided and we have to wait and see. There is no agreement with the club."
Chelsea pulled off a convincing victory with Didier Drogba putting them in front with a fine long-range effort in the early stages. Florent Malouda and Nicolas Anelka added goals either side of half-time before Brazilian midfielder Ramires scored a fourth with his first goal for the club.
After a fine start to the season, Bolton have slipped to tenth place in the Premier League with four defeats in five matches. Their manager Owen Coyle admits his team have to show their quality to turn around a difficult situation which sees them in danger of being sucked into the relegation battle.
"There's no fairydust and magic wand in football. It's hard work, going on the training ground," he said. "You can either feel sorry for yourself or get up in the morning and do something about it and that's what we'd like to do.
"The nature of football is that when you're winning, anyone can play in those types of game because confidence is high. But when you've lost a couple of games and that confidence takes a little hit, that's when you've got to see that strength of character and courage and belief and everything that goes with it. That's what we need now. Players need to think they're the one that can turn the corner and that's what you have to do."