Nemanja Matic: Chelsea team 'together' and working hard to make situation better
Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic insists the Blues are "together" and not focusing on the Barclays Premier League table that sees them lying just three points above the relegation zone after 12 games.
The champions slipped to 16th on Saturday as they succumbed to a third straight league defeat and seventh of the season, going down 1-0 at Stoke.
Three days on from the 2-1 Champions League victory over Dynamo Kiev, it turned the heat up once again on Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who was unable to attend Saturday's contest due to a one-match stadium ban.
But while it was another bad result in the London outfit's grim campaign that left their manager's future looking more uncertain than ever, Chelsea goalkeeper Asmir Begovic has expressed his belief the performance showed the players are working hard for Mourinho in a bid to turn things around.
And that sentiment has been echoed by Matic, who said: "I think in the last two games we played good football, but have been unlucky.
"I don't want to say that we have played well in all games this season - of course, there were some where we deserved to lose.
"But (on Saturday) I think this was not the case and we deserved more.
"What is going well is that the team is together, everyone understands the situation we are in and we will try to be more together and work hard to make this situation better.
"In this moment, we haven't had the luck to change something to make it better for us, but I hope in the future we will."
The 27-year-old Serbia international added: "We are not used to being in this position, but we don't look a lot at the table.
"Last season, when we were champions, for the first 10 or 15 games we also did not look at the table - we just tried to take things game by game and collect as many points as possible.
"I think the table is not realistic now because I think Chelsea deserve more. We will try to recover points which we lost up to now."
Mourinho was left in the team hotel when his side headed to the Britannia Stadium, and Matic felt the Portuguese had done a good job of preparing the players in the time he had to do so.
"He prepared before the game in the last couple of training sessions which we had after the Dynamo game," Matic said.
"He prepared everything, at Cobham especially, and we knew what we had to do.
"I think we did our job well - there was only the one situation where Stoke scored the goal, and they were lucky to score it."
Mourinho's assistants Steve Holland and Rui Faria were overseeing things from the touchline as Stoke forward Marko Arnautovic settled Saturday's game with a 53rd-minute volley.