Chelsea captain John Terry believes interim manager Guus Hiddink can help lead his team near the Premier League’s top four.
Just days after Jose Mourinho had his contract terminated by mutual consent, the defending champions claimed a 3-1 win over Sunderland.
The win pulled Chelsea three points clear of the relegation zone after just their fifth victory in 17 league games this season.
Terry feels there is still hope for his team, who are 11 points adrift of fourth-placed Tottenham in what has been an unpredictable campaign.
“I think from the first-half performance, who knows?” he said.
“It is going to be difficult to win every game, we know that, but step by step there are a lot of games over Christmas. If we can go on a good run and climb the table over Christmas, then who knows?
“But look at the likes of Leicester. You expect them to drop off, but they haven’t. Teams are doing well above us, so that’s even more reason why we have to keep winning.”
Terry said the players needed to take responsibility for Mourinho’s sacking after their dreadful start to the season.
The 35-year-old defender said he was “gutted” by the Portuguese tactician’s exit.
“If it was the case where you could get rid of a lot of players I’m sure clubs would do that, but unfortunately it does fall on the manager’s head, there’s nothing we can do about that,” Terry said.
“Obviously we are gutted the manager has gone, we as players feel responsible for that. We are not hiding away from that fact.”