Carlo Ancelotti declared Chelsea back in the Barclays Premier League title race after seeing them end their miserable run by beating Bolton.
The Blues ground out the scrappiest of 1-0 wins to take maximum points for the first time in seven matches and close to within four points of leaders Manchester United.
The result eased the pressure on manager Ancelotti, who had overseen the club's worst sequence since 1999, during which they slumped from top spot to fifth in the table.
After watching his side edge back above Tottenham into fourth, the Italian said: "It's very important for us now to stay focused on the games. Because the league is open again; it is not closed for us."
But he admitted Chelsea would have surrendered their title had they failed to win.
"Obviously, yes," said Ancelotti, who went into the match with the backing of billionaire owner Roman Abramovich. "I think it was the most important thing to change the atmosphere, to change the trend, to come back to win."