John Terry has urged Chelsea to use Didier Drogba's battle with malaria to launch a recovery of their own in the Barclays Premier League title race.
Drogba produced a goal-of-the-season contender at Bolton on Monday night as Carlo Ancelotti's side closed the gap on Manchester United to seven points.
The Ivory Coast striker has soldiered on through poor form and ill health this season despite being diagnosed with the tropical disease in November, and Terry said: 'We appreciate that and it will never be forgotten.
'I've never had malaria myself, but speaking to the doctor it does knock you for six. He could have taken two months out, but fair play to him, he wanted to fight on for the team. He knows we're lacking in options and he wanted to put his body on the line for the club.'
Drogba's indifferent form has mirrored that of his team as they have fallen behind United, but Terry believes Chelsea's ability to stick together will keep them in the title race.
'Didier's taken a bit of stick, as we all have, but we've stayed together,' said Terry.
'Things haven't gone well for us, which makes it easier to point the finger but that's one thing we haven't done at our place. It's a collective situation and when we play like that no-one can stop us.
Back on song: Didier Drogba (left) lets fly against Bolton
'It baffles me that people have said we're out of the title race. We'll never give up, and when we play like that nobody should write us off.
'We've read things that people don't fear us any more, but the message from our dressing room is you don't fear us at your peril.
'Even under Avram Grant a few years ago we were miles behind, but kept winning and gave United a real fright. We'll do that again and take it right to the end.
'Our self-belief is back. People might say we're southern softies as we've not won away for a while, but we're certainly not that.'
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