Frank Lampard admits Chelsea have not worked hard enough to arrest their alarming slide down the Barclays Premier League.
England midfielder Lampard believes a lack of confidence and quality have also played their part in the club's worst run of league results for almost 15 years. But it is his suggestion the champions have not been putting in enough of the hard yards that will give most cause for concern.
"Everyone at Chelsea understands we're not expected to have the run of results we've had. We have high standards and the results we've had the last two months is not the level we expect."
It could be viewed as implied criticism of his team-mates, with the 32-year-old having sat out virtually all of the club's miserable run through injury.
And, perhaps worryingly for manager Carlo Ancelotti, Lampard compared the current slump of one league win in nine to that which saw Luiz Felipe Scolari sacked by the club almost two years ago.
"There was a time like this near the end of the Luiz Felipe Scolari reign when we were struggling to get wins," said Lampard whose two goals in Chelsea's 7-0 FA Cup thrashing of Ipswich went some way to lifting the gloom at Stamford Bridge.
"Everyone has spells like that to an extent but this one has been a little more prolonged over a period of time.
"That's the upsetting thing. It is certainly time for us to change it now. Not winning games is the biggest thing that has affected us.
"There are quite a few reasons for that, a lack of confidence being one of them, but there has also been a lack of quality and workrate. We need to step it up across the board to get back to where we want to be.
"The league games coming up are very important and we need to take the spirit and energy we showed against Ipswich, which has maybe been lacking before, into the next few matches."
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