Chelsea’s under-fire manager Andre Villas-Boas has conceded that the form his side has exhibited against the big teams “has not been good enough."
The Blues have lost to Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool this season, with their second defeat to the latter coming in the League Cup on Tuesday.
Villas-Boas has been criticised recently for Chelsea's slump in form and the team’s next few games could prove vital in its chances of winning a trophy come the end of this season.
Chelsea travels to Newcastle on Saturday to face Alan Pardew’s side, which has lost only one of its last eight games, before facing Valencia in a crucial Champions League tie at Stamford Bridge.
"Our form against the top teams has not been good enough. Valencia [is] life and death for both clubs," the Portuguese manager told reporters. “I don’t think confidence is at crisis point, we just have to pull ourselves together. We can only work hard and believe we can revert the situation.
“It’s only a crisis at the end of a season when you look at how many trophies you have won.”
Villas-Boas had nothing but praise for his managerial counterpart Pardew following the Magpies' impressive start to the season, with the Tyneside outfit fourth in the table.
"Pardew has brought serenity to Newcastle. In the past couple of years they’ve been in turmoil with managers and relegation and [being] sold to another owner," he said. “But now there is empathy with the city and the club. They play good football - the way teams want to play.
"It’s an excellent challenge for us."