Manchester City midfielder Fernando has cranked up the pressure on Chelsea as the Premier League title race resumes this weekend.
Jose Mourinho’s unbeaten Blues top the table after 11 games and sit four points clear of Southampton and a healthy eight ahead of reigning champions City.
Attention turns back to domestic action on Saturday as Chelsea look to maintain their stunning form at Stamford Bridge while Manuel Pellegrini’s team host Swansea.
Combative Brazilian Fernando admits the Etihad club have not had the ideal start to the campaign but expects the west Londoners to face similar problems further down the line.
"We know that the English league is very competitive, with big teams," Fernando said.
"Of course Chelsea is the team that is best placed and playing better, but we know that all teams within the league fluctuate greatly.
"We did not start well, we had some difficulties, but we know that at any time Chelsea will also go through these difficulties and then we have to work to stay as close as possible.
"The rivalry is big, Chelsea will try to keep away and we just have to work.
"What has hampered the most is not the Premier League, the Champions League is where we are wrong. We still have chances in all competitions and so we have to work.”
Chelsea goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois is aware of the threat City pose and is taking nothing for granted despite a strong start to the season.
"We are working game by game, but we don't have the title in the bag. The Premier League is very difficult and hard," he added.
"We are trying to win with every game that is possible. But there will be a still a long way to win the title. We are working hard. And hopefully that will be enough."