Frank Lampard has found it tough to watch Chelsea's slump from the sidelines - but feels Carlo Ancelotti's men may just have turned the corner.
The Blues have slipped down to fourth in the Barclays Premier League after their worst run of domestic form in a decade, their last victory coming against Fulham on November 10.
However, but for a stoppage-time penalty miss from Didier Drogba in last Sunday's 1-1 draw at Tottenham, Chelsea would have been back to winning ways.
Lampard has been out for three and a half months after hernia problems, but returned to action as a late substitute against Spurs.
Chelsea showed plenty of the spirit which had taken them to the title last season when dragging themselves back into the game.
With a titanic clash against leaders Manchester United at Stamford Bridge this Sunday, Lampard feels the mood in the camp is positive.
"Every season you have patches and ups and downs and hopefully this is one to get out the way early and refocus," the England midfielder said on Chelsea TV.
"It is easy for me not being involved to sit back and say it has been really bad, but it is a difficult league and we started off like a house on fire.
"We have had a bit of a hiccup and maybe we stopped doing the things that made us so good early in the season.
"Hopefully the Spurs game was a bit of a turning point.
"We worked hard, we grafted, we showed spirit and we were strong. We take that into this week."
Lampard is set to take part in a friendly later this week and, if all goes well, the England midfielder would expect to start against United.
The 32-year-old did not make a good spectator during his spell on the sidelines.
"You get used to watching games and being frustrated and having weekends off watching the lads go away," Lampard said.
"It is strange and it does make you really think and appreciate even more how lucky you are to do what you do, playing football for a living.
"It has been frustrating to be missing, but it is a beautiful feeling to be back.
"My groin felt very good and I have a nice long week until the next game now."
Chelsea, meanwhile, have been told to forget thoughts of signing Brazil youngster Neymar in the January transfer window.
The 18-year-old's agent maintains there is "zero per cent" chance the Santos forward, valued at £17million although boasting a £40m release clause, is about to leave South America.
Last summer it appeared Neymar was set for a move to Stamford Bridge, only for the clubs to fail to agree a fee.
Chelsea are also said to be monitoring Portuguese starlet Joao Reis, the 18-year-old winger currently with third division Louletano, as they look to bolster their youth ranks.Reuse content