Eden Hazard claims he is going through the most challenging phase of his career as Chelsea attempt to arrest their dismal early-season form.
Hazard swept the board for individual awards in the Premier League last season after inspiring Jose Mourinho’s side to the title, but his standards have fallen markedly in 2015-16.
The former Lille star was dropped for Chelsea’s 2-1 defeat to Porto last week after failing to score once in 11 appearances so far this term, while the champions having been beaten four times just eight games into their title defence.
And Hazard admits it is a welcome distraction to turn his attentions to international football as he aims to guide Belgium to the Euro 2016 finals.
“This perhaps the most difficult period of my career. There are always ups and downs. I’m not certain what the problem is,” he said.
“But we have to keep working hard to improve. It’s always good to spend time with the national team, and even more so when things aren’t going well for your club.
“I know I can do better. I have to be able to help the team win.”
Belgium need a win from their trip to Andorra on Saturday to guarantee their place in the finals and Hazard concedes he is not sure what to expect.
“I know all the players in the Andorra team!” he joked, before adding: “No, seriously, I don’t know any. But we’ll be analysing the team.”