Chelsea's Gary Cahill: Title race still open after comeback win over Watford
Gary Cahill has said the title race is "open" after Chelsea came back from 2-1 down to beat Watford 4-2 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
The result lifted the defending champions into fourth place, although Manchester City's win over Burnley means they remain nine points adrift of top spot.
But club captain Cahill believes Chelsea have what it takes to overhaul Pep Guardiola's side and said: "Last season we were eight points behind Man City and we managed to claw it back.
"I'm not saying it's going to happen, but we need to calm down and get back to it. We are in the middle of October and there are loads of games to play.
"Man City have loads of tough games to play, Man United and everyone else have massive games to play. I still think it is open.
"If Man City keep smashing people, they are going to go on and win the league -- deservedly.
"But it is difficult to maintain it for such a long period and if they do -- or whoever does do that, and it was us last year -- they deserve to win the league."
Cahill praised the "character" Chelsea had shown against Watford on the back of a defeat at bottom club Crystal Palace but said they needed to rediscover their consistency.
"It's easy to play football when everything is going well and you are winning games back-to-back -- it's the best feeling ever," he said.
"You can go out there and express yourself, you feel like you're not going to make mistakes. The hardest thing is when things are not going so well and you have got to dig in and get results.
"Obviously this moment is one of them, hence why the [Watford] result was good.
"When things are going well, everyone's coming into training, having a lot of banter and enjoying things -- and when you are not, it's not that feeling because the expectation is to win. That's natural.
"That's why there is no better feeling than getting a win and then getting a bit of consistency, some games won and back-to-back wins."
Fellow defender Cesar Azpilicueta, who scored the third goal against Watford, echoed his teammate's thoughts and said Chelsea had gone through a "difficult period" at the start of the season.
He told the official Chelsea website: "We left it very late and had to dig in until the last minute, but we showed great spirit.
"It wasn't our best game but we got a big victory for our confidence after three games without a win. It was important for the team to get back to winning ways. We never gave up."
He said the players knew there would be "ups and downs" over "a long season" but added: "This is the first step to get out and get our confidence up."
Chelsea face struggling Everton in the EFL Cup on Wednesday before a Premier League trip to Bournemouth at the weekend.