Chelsea full-back Branislav Ivanovic has insisted that the Blues won't be derailed by this weekend's international break.
This season has seen a sluggish start for the Stamford Bridge outfit, who appear to have picked up pace since their weekend 3-1 victory over Norwich City - they haven't lost a Premier League match since their 1-0 defeat to Everton in mid September.
In the last fortnight Jose Mourinho's side have started to show heightened determination and character, with wins against Swindon (2-0) in the Capital One Cup, and a spectacular 4-0 victory over Steaua in their Champions League clash on the first of this month.
Serbian defender Ivanovic is confident that Chelsea's good run won't face a slump post-break.
As quoted on Get West London, he said: "Actually, I think the season is too long, and you have to concentrate on every game.
"For sure, during the season you will have bad periods and good periods.
"We won the last game but we expect the next game in the Champions League to be very important."
Chelsea face Schalke on Tuesday October 22 and the German team have won three out of four Champions League matches, drawing one back in August - so it seems both sides are in fine form.
"I think we have to work very hard to be top, and use all the squad for these kind of games that are coming up for us."
Chelsea have a reputation for difficult patches around the autumn - with former manager Carlo Ancelotti famously describing this time of year as 'a bad moment'.
Saturday sees the Blues' return to action with a packed eight days including the visits of Manchester City and Cardiff, as well as their Champions League trip to Germany.
Ivanovic is expected to play for his national side in a friendly against Japan and a World Cup qualifier against Macedonia.
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