Chelsea winger Florent Malouda has issued a rallying cry to his team-mates, to bring out their leadership abilities in the absence of key players Frank Lampard and John Terry.
The former West Ham United midfielder has been sidelined for a significant part of the season owing to a groin injury, which is expected to keep him out for a further two weeks.
And only recently, Terry had to visit a specialist owing to a nerve problem, which had previously seen the midfielder admit that he could be out for "months".
Now the Frenchman has called on his team-mates to rise up in the club's hour of need, ahead of the trip to play Birmingham City.
"It’s a difficult moment for us because we have a lot of injuries but we have to carry on," Malouda said, according to The Guardian.
"It’s difficult because they are our leaders. JT is our captain. But we have games coming up and we have to win them.
"My role for France is to be a leader and I have to do that for Chelsea too. I know others can do that as well.
"We were disappointed to lose against Sunderland. But we have to analyse what went wrong and come back stronger. That's what we will try to do against Birmingham.
"Everything was wrong against Sunderland. When you lose 3-0 at home there are no positives. But we are still first and we have a good chance to keep top spot. That's our aim and we have to stay focused on it."