Chelsea playmaker Oscar has issued a rallying cry to every one of his teammates - including in-form striker Diego Costa - to improve during the final months of the 2014-15 Premier League campaign.
The Blues find themselves two points above second-placed Manchester City following their 2-0 win over Newcastle United on Saturday - but Oscar is acutely aware that, unless he and his teammates hit top gear between now and May, the Premier League trophy could eventually end up at the Etihad Stadium instead of Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea were eight points clear of Manchester City in November but have suffered, by their own impeccably high standards, a dip in form over recent weeks - which has allowed Manuel Pellegrini’s side to close the gap.
Oscar: We must all improve
Subsequently, Oscar hopes that every first-team player at Chelsea will be at their best over the forthcoming months - including the club’s top scorer, Costa.
"Diego is a fantastic player. This season he has helped Chelsea so much and scored so many goals,” the Brazilian told reporters. "But we need Diego to play better every game because now Manchester City is second, just two points behind. But not just Diego, we need everyone to play their best."
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Golden Boot race
Costa is currently the Premier League’s top scorer with 15 goals, but has the fit-again Sergio Aguero breathing down his neck for the Golden Boot award. The Manchester City striker has netted 14 goals this term, but has missed more matches than the Brazil-born Spain international.
Chelsea are vying to win their first Premier League title since 2010. Mourinho said on numerous occasions last season that his side would be in a much better position to challenge for silverware this term - and that certainly appears to be the case midway through the campaign.
Chelsea's hectic schedule
The Blues have bounced back well since their shock 5-3 defeat to Tottenham on New Year’s Day, recording convincing wins over Watford and Newcastle in the FA Cup and Premier League, respectively.
Next up for Mourinho’s side in the Premier League are Swansea City, before cup games against Liverpool and Millwall or Bradford City.
Following another League Cup fixture against Brendan Rodgers’ side, Chelsea go head-to-head with Manchester City on January 31, in what promises to be one of the pivotal fixtures of the Premier League campaign.