Frank Lampard has beseeched his Chelsea team-mates to treat every remaining game of the season as a cup match if they hope to secure Champions League football.
With eight games left of the current campaign, the Blues' midfielder has publicly acknowledged there is no room for error in the wake of Saturday's 0-0 draw against Tottenham.
"We [Chelsea] have to take all the league games now as knockout matches. It's very clichéd but we're fighting from behind, and if we lose a game and lose points then the gap is bigger and the amount of games left is shorter," Lampard told the Daily Mail.
"So we know, especially after that draw, the gap is still five points and there is no more room for slip-ups."
Tottenham maintained their five-point advantage over Chelsea after a dour stalemate at Stamford Bridge. The home side lacked spark going forward and were lucky to escape with a point late on when Gareth Bale headed against the crossbar.
And Lampard has admitted Chelsea have struggled to maintain the form that carried them into the Champions League quarter-finals at the expense of Napoli two weeks ago.
"The fixtures and where we are in the table doesn't lie - we're not as good as we used to be. We used to have a fortress here and, for whatever reason, we're just not doing it. It's something we must all put right," the Chelsea midfielder said.
"You know a derby against a very good Tottenham side is going to be tough. But I don't think we were at it enough. We had to play more with the urgency we showed against Napoli.
"Against Tottenham, we didn't really do enough to lift the fans. We had the high of Napoli, then we got beaten by Manchester City and now we need to up it again."
Since caretaker manager Roberto di Matteo replaced Andre Villas-Boas earlier this month, the Blues have advanced into the last eight of the Champions League and secured a berth in the semi-finals of the FA Cup.
But their hopes of a top-four finish were dealt a serious blow on Saturday and Lampard has warned his team-mates that they must improve significantly if they hope to overhaul Tottenham before the end of the season.
"Chelsea should be in the top four. No disrespect to the other top-five clubs but, with the ability we have, we should be in there," Lampard added.
"It is far from over. 'There is no point being downbeat about it at the minute. It's five points and the gap has been bigger than that. It's up to us now to get ourselves right for Benfica and the league games coming up."
Meanwhile, Benfica winger Nicolas Gaitan has criticised Chelsea forwards Fernando Torres and Didier Drogba for their "anxiety" in front of goal.
Benfica play arrived in London ahead of Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final first leg showdown at Stamford Bridge. And the Argentina international believes it is the perfect time to play Chelsea, in light of their recent struggles in front of goal.
"I think there is an anxiety in Chelsea by the lack of goals from Torres and Drogba," Gaitan is quoted in the Daily Mail.
"We can exploit that and even though it will be difficult to stop them, it is possible and I have confidence we will keep a clean sheet."