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Galvanising effect

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We've been here before of course - numerous times even - but there can be no underestimating the effect that a performance such as we witnessed on Saturday can have in creating a necessary spark.

The key though is how you use it and this is something that Gareth Barry alluded to:

We’ll only have ourselves to blame if we can’t come off the back of a result like this and go into the next games with confidence, but it’s set up nicely now to finish the season strongly.

In some ways, things fell nicely for us at Chelsea. The return of Tevez and the Bridge/Terry issue clearly galvanised the side at a time when it was needed following defeat in the FA Cup, some lacklustre performances and growing whispers of squad unrest with Roberto Mancini's methods.

With both Liverpool and Tottenham winning at the weekend, the three points - if unexpected - were crucial in keeping us in the thick of the race for fourth.

It has been highlighted that our run in is perhaps the most difficult in comparison to Tottenham, Liverpool and Aston Villa yet it is in out hands given our game in hand plus the fact that we have to play both Tottenham and Aston Villa at home in our remaining games. Given where we have dropped points this season, it is not too disappointing that we have to face more of the 'bigger' sides (we also have to play Arsenal and United) between now and the end of the season.

With Tottenham's involvement in the FA Cup this weekend we are without a fixture. Bad new perhaps, but it will allow for some of the niggling injuries to clear and will also give Mancini important time on the training ground to further implement his ideas, of which progress is evident.

Looking at the table, a side finishing with 70 points will be unlucky not to finish in the Champions League positions. This means we need to pick up 21 points from our remaining 11 games. Definitely achieveable.

What will be important is picking upwins. An obvious point but we have drawn too many games this season. You are able to absorb the odd defeat if by and large you are winning games. A run of draws is damaging. This is where sides who can craft out late wins will triumph.

What we witness on Saturday were signs of that. The return of Tevez in particularly was crucial and the squad have come out with all the right words.

It is of course now the most crucial end to a season since we were locked in relegation battles. Sometimes it takes just one game or event can provide the spark that is needed.

Saturday was hopefully just that.