Rafael Benitez declared Chelsea are still capable of winning this season's Barclays Premier League despite seeing them sleepwalk to another bore draw and slip seven points adrift of top spot.
Benitez's first two matches in charge of the European champions have now ended without a goal as they made it six league games without a victory against Fulham. A team that looked champions elect under Roberto Di Matteo little over a month ago now appear incapable of scoring, never mind winning, and their title challenge is floundering by the game.
But Benitez insisted Chelsea had the quality to overhaul Manchester United and Manchester City, and said: "Why can't we? It's still a long way to go. We have to keep going. We'll have chances.
"Remember, last season when City were ahead and it was 'easy'. Then they needed to win their last game. It's a long, long competition."
Interim manager Benitez acknowledged Chelsea were lacking confidence after a run of two wins in 10 that threatens to wreck their season.
He added: "The main thing is to win games. If we do, we'll be there and we can win competitions. We need to start doing that and the confidence will come back."
Benitez admitted striker Fernando Torres was lacking "confidence", something that could not be said for opposite number Dimitar Berbatov.
Fulham boss Martin Jol said: "Berbatov was almost unplayable and linked our play, and we had a few chances. After the game, everyone said Berbatov was fantastic, and he was, but the other players worked every so hard."
Hard enough to carve out the game's clearest opportunities.
"At 80 minutes we had two possibilities," Jol said. "I'm not disappointed to only get a draw away from home, but disappointed we didn't make more of those chances."