Cole puts faith in Chelsea's strength for long haul

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Seven points behind Arsenal, having played one game more, Chelsea may be, but Joe Cole has taken heart from the steadily improving form post-Jose Mourinho and said yesterday that Chelsea can still win the Premier League this season.

Tellingly, Cole said: "I think we can look forward now. You are not out of the title in October. Those teams in the mix will all take points off each other. We can have no slip-ups now and we all know that. We need to go on a great run and we are focused on that.

"We have done it before. We did it at Boro without Ashley Cole and JT [John Terry], two massive players for us, so it shows the strength of the squad. We need to put a really great run together, 20-25 wins. We are certainly capable."

Chelsea host Schalke tomorrow night in the Champions League and Manchester City visit Stamford Bridge on Saturday. Despite outbursts from Didier Drogba and Florent Malouda, the Chelsea players appear to be settling into the new regime of Avram Grant, who now has Henk Ten Cate as his assistant. Away wins at Valencia, Bolton and Middlesbrough have helped Grant.

Cole said: "We are getting a bit of fluidity back in our passing and, although we are still not at the very top of our game as there are improvements that can be made, they were three great wins."