Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack insists the managerial upheavals in recent seasons have helped to forge an unbreakable bond within the Stamford Bridge dressing room. The Blues are now five points clear of Arsenal and Manchester United at the top of the Barclays Premier League thanks to their 1-0 victory over Sir Alex Ferguson's men on Sunday.
But Ballack believes the difficult situations and disappointing times have helped the side stick together.
The German said: "The team has grown together and every year we have more experience and confidence.
"Most of the players have stayed here, we've been through a lot of nice games but also a lot of difficult situations and some little disappointments have stuck us together.
"If you come back from disappointing situations together then you do better the next season. We have to focus at this early stage and keep that going until around April and the deciding games in the season.
"You work the whole year for these big games, league deciders and cup finals. It is very important that you don't waste points by drawing here and there at this stage of the season and finding yourself five points behind and chasing.
"So it is a good time at the moment for us and we want to keep it going."