Chelsea boss Avram Grant has refused to concede the Premier League title to Manchester United or Arsenal.
The latest setback to hit Stamford Bridge has come following the Boxing Day 4-4 draw with Aston Villa after Ashley Cole and Ricardo Carvalho were sent off.
The Blues are already without striker Didier Drogba and key defender John Terry.
Carvalho is set to miss the forthcoming fixtures with Newcastle and Fulham and an FA Cup tie against QPR whilst Cole has made a claim for wrongful dismissal to the FA which will be heard on Friday.
Chelsea are currently seven points behind league leaders United in third place and any further blows during the hectic festive period would put their hopes of claiming back the title in doubt.
But rather than be downbeat about his side's chances, Grant is not giving up hope and is instead relishing the tough task ahead.
Challenge"As long as we have a chance we will do everything we can to catch Manchester United and Arsenal," he said.
"We have character and will not give up. We will do anything to challenge them.
"This job has been a big challenge from the day I started it and I will accept this latest challenge."
Chelsea have already been without a number of players during the campaign due to injury including Terry, Frank Lampard, Petr Cech, Carvalho and Cole, and Grant is determined not to be defeated by having a depleted squad now.
"To have these players unavailable is a test for us, but we have been here already this season by playing without big names," he said.
"Football is always a big test when you have a bad time. It's not easy but this is the situation and we'll make the best of it.
"I'm waiting for the day when I can be like other managers and have all my players available. I think that time will come one day."
Grant's selection worries will be dealt a further blow when Drogba, Salomon Kalou, John Obi Mikel and Michael Essien depart to play in the African Cup of Nations next month and he admits that the absences will affect Chelsea's movements in the transfer window.
"Everything is always about January because the transfer window is open," he said.
"The injured players and the African Nations Cup will make us think more about what we need to do."