Carlo Ancelotti has said that he plans to instil a stricter regime at Chelsea after his side's disappointing recent run was extended by a 1-1 home draw against Everton.
That result means Ancelotti's side have won just one of their last six league games, a sequence that has seen them fall from the top of the Premier League and down to third place behind Arsenal and Manchester United. Ancelotti was angered by his side's second half display, when they failed to hold onto the 40th-minute lead given them by Didier Drogba's penalty, with Jermaine Beckford eventually heading the equaliser four minutes from time.
Chelsea's manager admits he is concerned by the length of the current slump and believes the way to revive his side's title challenge is by demanding a change of approach on the training pitch. "Maybe we have to change something in our behaviour on the training ground," said the Italian. "We have to move quickly on this. We have to do better day by day on the training ground to stay really focused and to work harder. This is the way I know to move on."
And reflecting on his side's change in fortune from the opening weeks of the season when Chelsea were scoring freely and winning games, he added: "Now there is no reason to smile. If we want to change quickly, we have to work hard. I was sure a difficult moment would arrive but not this long. This is too long."
Chelsea's next three fixtures pitch them against title rivals Tottenham, Manchester United and Arsenal, starting with a match away to Spurs. Ancelotti hopes to have England midfielder Frank Lampard back by then and he said: "Obviously if we won (against Everton) we knew we were back at the top of the table and that was important particularly to grow our confidence. We have a great opportunity in the next game against Tottenham. It is a great opportunity to show the character in the team."
He added: "Frank Lampard will start to train with the squad next week and he will be able to play next week, I hope."
Everton manager David Moyes, meanwhile, is confident midfielder Tim Cahill will remain at Goodison Park for as long as possible before heading off to the AFC Asia Cup, and not join up with the Australia national squad three weeks before the tournament begins. "I'm due to see someone from Australia shortly but Tim has told me he'll stay with us until after the New Year," said Moyes. "He didn't score today (Saturday) but he has been very important for us."