Stiliyan Petrov believes the gap between Aston Villa and the top four of the Premier League can be bridged, despite being given a wake-up call at the weekend.
Chelsea's win over Villa was far more convincing than the two-goal victory suggested as the hopes of Martin O'Neill's men breaking into the Champions League places were dented.
"We just need to get better," said Petrov. "There are a lot more games to be played. What's important is where we finish at the end of the season.
"On Sunday we saw that we are not really close to them, so if we need to get close to them we need to keep working and shorten that distance very quickly."
Petrov is determined to bounce back when domestic duties start again.
"You want to go away for the international break on a high," he said. "Obviously we couldn't but it's important we come back in the next game against Portsmouth. If we do that then everything will be okay again."
Villa goalkeeper Brad Friedel kept the score down at Stamford Bridge, and he feels Chelsea are approaching top form.
The American said: "They are playing like they did in the first season that Jose Mourinho took over.
"They have very good players and we weren't as good as we have been in previous weeks and that's something we will have to address.
"We played against a top team. The good thing about this is that we have some great players in the dressing room and we know that we won't be putting in another performance like that."