Southampton: Chelsea captain John Terry believes that his side will head to Southampton on Wednesday buoyed by having produced their best performance of the season in the victory over Liverpool.
Blues manager Jose Mourinho has maintained that his team are in a period of transition, playing down their chances of taking the Premier League title.
But Sunday`s 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge, against one of their main rivals at the head of the table, ensured that Mourinho`s side remained two points off the top.
And Terry believes there were signs in the Liverpool win that confirmed there is more to come from the team.
The centre-back, who clocked up his 600th Chelsea appearance against the Anfield club, said: "I think the first half was the best we`ve played all season, actually; the pressing was spot on, as were the tactics from the manager.
"Hopefully we can continue that, as it`s been coming. We`ve been playing OK, but feeling like we`ve got a little bit more to give and I thought we did that in this game."
Terry believes Mourinho has succeeded in forging a togetherness within the squad and continues to draw the best out of the defender and the rest of his senior players.
"The manager has been asking for togetherness from everyone," Terry said.
"Whether you play or you are on the bench, everyone`s got a part to play. When the guys are not playing, it`s important they maintain their fitness and their sharpness.
"The older boys in the squad have still got a lot to give, too. We see that every week.
"There is new talent coming through the squad and one day it will come to an end -- we all realise that -- but it certainly won`t be for the want of trying from us, trying to keep our place in the team."
David Luiz will miss the trip to Southampton after collecting a fifth booking, while Frank Lampard and Branislav Ivanovic are likely to be sidelined after picking up injuries against Liverpool.
Chelsea will travel with less trepidation than they might have done a few weeks ago, when Southampton were on an excellent run that had taken them into the top four.
A run of one win in eight league games has seen them drop to ninth, but Terry warned that they still pose a considerable threat, having lost 3-1 at Chelsea on December 1.
"It`s going to be tough because they`re very good at home and it proved a difficult game here when they scored pretty early," he said.
"They are a good footballing side, very much like Liverpool, who try and play out from the back, so we`re expecting a tough game.
"Man United and Man City have gone on good runs and it`s important over this period that we do the same."
The narrow 2-1 defeat at Everton on Sunday was the latest in a series of frustrations for Mauricio Pochettino`s Southampton, who have continued to deliver impressive performances without securing positive results.
But James Ward-Prowse, Saints` highly-rated young midfielder, believes a top-six finish is still there for the taking.
"The beauty of this time of year is that the next game is only around the corner," he said.
"There will soon be a chance to rectify the result at Everton, starting against Chelsea.
"It`s a good place to push on from where we were last year, hopefully to a place in the top six. As long as we keep working hard in training I`m sure that`s a possibility.
"The manager told us afterwards to keep doing what we`re doing and the philosophy won`t change. The sky`s the limit for us.
"We`ve still got half the season to come and we`ll spend each day trying to keep improving."