Oriol Romeu insists victory over Sunderland was another small step in Chelsea’s fight for the title.
The Spanish U21 international, who moved to Stamford Bridge in the summer from Barcelona, has been one of the shining lights for the Blues this season in a campaign of mixed-fortunes from Andre Villas-Boas.
But, following the win over Martin O’Neill’s resurgent Black Cats, Chelsea closed the gap to eight points on league leaders Manchester City, and Romeu insists the players haven’t given up hope as he closes on a 20th appearance this term.
"It was very important to get the three points. It didn't matter the way to get the victory, the thing was to get the victory," Romeu told the official Blues website post-match.
"We need to go on winning the games to get close to the teams on top of the league. We need to go step by step. Now the league is very difficult but you can never say the league is over, you have to fight to the end.
"I am very happy that I am playing and that is the most important thing. All the players want to be there and you have to take the chance and play as well as you can."
Romeu also offered kind words for compatriot Fernando Torres, who has shown glimpses of his best form in the last two outings for ‘AVB’.
With Didier Drogba away on international duty and Daniel Sturridge out through injury, the pressure is on Chelsea’s £50 million-man to stand-up and be counted, something his teammates are confident he can do in the coming months.
"The people used to say that if he [Torres] doesn't score then he is not playing good, but that is not true," added Romeu.
"He is playing good and he helped us to get the goals. He was playing very good in the game at Wolves and now he played another big game for us. Every ball he fights and he is big player for us.
"If he is happy, if he is enjoying it on the pitch then he is going to play better and he helps us much more than if he is not enjoying it on the pitch. He is playing very good in the two last games and that is good news for us."