Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho says he will not buy a new striker in the January transfer window despite his unhappiness with his attacking options.
Fernando Torres, Samuel Eto’o and Demba Ba have only scored four Premier League goals between them this season, while Romelu Lukaku, loaned to Everton from Chelsea, has eight to his name.
None of Mourinho’s recognised strikers were on target during the 3-2 defeat at Stoke on Saturday, a result which leaves the Blues third and five points behind leaders Arsenal, but Mourinho is insistent that he will persevere with his current squad.
"If you tell me [Sergio] Aguero has scored already 10 or 12 goals, [Alvaro] Negredo 10 or 12 goals, [Edin] Dzeko four or five, Rooney eight or 10, [Olivier] Giroud eight or 10, [Daniel] Sturridge eight or 10, [Luis] Suarez 10 or 12, if you ask me would I like my strikers to score eight-10-12 goals, yes," Mourinho said.
"If we had eight-10-12 goals [from the strikers] we would be top of the league. That’s a reality but my strikers give everything and the team works hard. What can you do more? We work, we keep working. That’s the only way I know is to keep working.
"Of course we want the best possible results, but I am not waiting for players, I am not asking for players. This is a period for the club and this is a period of my team where we have to try and improve the players we have and try to build a future.
"It is my squad. For good and for bad it is my squad. Of course it is not the perfect squad, but it is my squad and I work with them until the last day. To criticise does not help me. What do I win by criticising my players? I win nothing."
Despite the setback at Stoke, a third league defeat in 15 games, Mourinho is confident that his team is capable of challenging for the Premier League title and will at least improve on their disappointing finishes from the past two seasons.
He said: "I think we are one of the six teams that are the six potential contenders for the title. Remember that in the past two years, this team finished 25 points behind the leaders and finished 14 points behind the leaders.
"We are not speaking with me about my team being champions last year or finished one or two points behind. My team in the last two or three years in December was 15-20 points behind the leaders and I am saying we are building a team, a style of play with the players we have and of course we want the best results."