The London outfit have been in mixed form in recent weeks and their boss has called on them to recover their best performances
Frank Lampard says Chelsea need to be more consistent if they hope to achieve their top-four ambitions this season following their home defeat to Southampton.
The Blues lost their third Premier League game in four at Stamford Bridge on Boxing Day, with Michael Obafemi and Nathan Redmond netting either side of half-time for the Saints.
Lampard’s side were unable to replicate the victory they scored against Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham just before Christmas and have now failed to win the subsequent game after their last three triumphs in all competitions.
Chelsea stay fourth in the Premier League standings, but Lampard had now admitted that their place remains in jeopardy if they failed to stabilise their otherwise shaky form in order to cement themselves as contenders near the summit.
“It’s a clear statement that you need a form of consistency to come in the top four because it’s the Premier League – everyone is striving for it,” Lampard said at a news conference.
“We are in it at Christmas; people would probably have doubted that, so I think from that perspective we can be relatively happy.
“But if we want to stay there we have to move onwards and upwards, rather than look backwards, we clearly need to win more than we have won recently at home.”
Lampard and his players earned plaudits for the manner of their victory over Spurs and his former manager Mourinho.
However, the Chelsea boss conceded it is after defeats when he will learn even more about his players.
“After Tottenham we were the greatest thing in the world, they were the greatest players and I was a great manager, and today it’s questioned,” Lampard added.
“That’s when you see the strength of character of someone.”
Southampton started the day just outside of the bottom three, but boss Ralph Hasenhuttl was encouraged by West Ham and Bournemouth’s recent wins at Stamford Bridge.
“When you see that two teams win here then why shouldn’t you also,” Hasenhuttl said.
“This is more of losing the fear, don’t be afraid. Come here, be brave. I spoke before about how we want to win here.”