Michael Essien has likened Chelsea's season to a sandwich, vowing the sweetest part is yet to come as they chase Premier League title glory.
The Blues travel to Manchester United on Sunday knowing a win at Old Trafford will put them top of the league for the first time since November, having clawed back a 15-point deficit on the leaders with a run of 25 points from 27.
And Ghana international Essien is pleased to be back on track after the Blues' worst run in the league for almost 15 years saw them crash to fifth in the table earlier in the season.
Sweet and sour
Essien wrote in his blog on Chelsea's official website: "It has been a sweet and sour season.
"To use a sandwich analogy: sweet bread at the top, sour filling and more sweet bread at the bottom.
"We started the season extremely well, had a sour middle part and are now ending strongly.
"We have hit a good run of form lately and have managed to haul ourselves back into the title race.
"We have to beat Manchester United at Old Trafford this weekend to ensure we are in the driving seat and I can assure you we are up for it."
Essien, whose absence - along with those of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba - coincided with Chelsea's mid-term slump, feels his own season has been similarly up and down.
He added: "It is fair to say it has been a mixed season for me.
"It started very well for me and, as the team kept winning, my form just got better. But then suddenly my fine form became average for whatever reason.
"I was asked by friends many times what I felt the problem was and I couldn't explain. All I can say is when you hit a bad patch, you think about everything too much.
"The simplest pass becomes a difficult task because you spend time thinking rather than just letting things flow.
"I am glad to say after many weeks working hard on the training pitch, it suddenly clicked and now we are in with a chance.
"My season has been a sandwich one too and I am hoping the end will be extremely good."