Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas has demanded his side improve following their dismal exit from the Carling Cup quarter-finals.
The Blues lost 2-0 against Liverpool at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, applying further pressure on the 34-year old as his team struggle to find form ahead of their crucial tie against Valencia in the Champions League group stages on Tuesday.
A loss for Chelsea would result in a failure to progress to the final 16 of Europe’s prestige club competition.
The Portuguese boss is more than aware of the pressure that is mounting at the club, and knows that Chelsea will have to improve on their Carling Cup performance if they want to succeed in Europe.
“The Champions League is a competition that is life and death and this standard won’t be enough,” he said.
“We will need to up the tempo and play that game with the ultimate desire.”
Chelsea currently lie just 5th in the Premier League table, 10 points off current league leaders Manchester City.
December will prove to be a pivotal month with games against top-four sides Newcastle, Tottenham and City, which could decide the outcome of their season.
And Villas-Boas is aware of the task ahead, adding: “For our Premier League challenge to be alive we need to make the most of our December fixtures.”
“If we are able to do that we can get it back on track, not that we can’t get back on track after. If we do well in December it will have a major impact.”
“We recovered two points on our near opponents when we beat Wolves last weekend, which was good.”
“But for us to challenge for the Premier League we need to make the most of our December fixtures because we play most of the top teams.”
“I’m not a wizard so I can’t say for sure what will happen after December.”
“The FA Cup and Champions League come into play next year, so we don’t know what will happen in March and April.”
“But it’s a fact that if we get points from December, it will put our challenge back on track.”