CHELSEA have not been good enough in recent weeks says Didier Drogba - and they will have to do so much more if they are to wrestle the title back from Manchester United.
Drogba hit the 30-goal mark in all competitions at Fratton Park on Wednesday night in the 5-0 demolition of Portsmouth , but in a remarkably frank admission, the one in-form player agreed with the critics who have lambasted the team’s failings in squandering a 12-point lead to United.
He said: "I think they are fair because we haven’t played at our level in the last few weeks, and even in the game at Blackburn (on Sunday) I think we had only one good half.
"I think there are some difficult moments like this in a season, and our difficult moment didn’t come at the right time.
"I also believe if it had come a little bit earlier then it might have been easier to come back. Now we have to rush, and we have no time to think.
"With the games we have left, we have to win them all if we want the title. I think we had a good advantage but we lost it, and now have to chase Manchester United.
"Of course it’s frustrating, but you have to get over it.
"It is important to get over this frustration and start to win again."
Despite the setbacks, he said he still believed Chelsea could win the title this year as long as they adopted the mindset of their Old Trafford rivals.
He said: "You have to believe. I think when Man U was one point behind us, or even more points than that, they still believed they could come back."
Chelsea host FA Cup semi-final opponents Aston Villa in the league on Saturday - a rare case of a dress rehearsal being more important than the supposed big show.
A week later the Blues travel to Old Trafford to play the champions and league leaders.
Drogba said: "We have to make sure we are ready for Aston Villa.
"We have to concentrate on that game on Saturday, and then we must think about Manchester United.
"But I think it’s true both games are inter-related, so let’s hope and let’s will to win this one, and then we have enough time to think about Man United after."