Chelsea interim boss Guus Hiddink admitted on Friday that the Premier League champions face a very real threat of relegation.
The Blues are currently in 14th spot on the table, just six points above the dreaded bottom three.
They next face Everton at home before playing Arsenal away.
“It’s reality,” said Hiddink, who took over from Jose Mourinho in December. “We have two difficult games coming up.
“If you don’t gather points there, you don’t know what the others do. The Premier League can surprise you.”
Hiddink also pointed out they weren’t that far below the top four either, but acknowledged the margins for error were incredibly slim.
“There are 12 points difference to fourth place, which is Tottenham,” added the Dutchman.
“We all like to look forward and to the top of the table, but also don’t be unrealistic – you’re six points off the line of relegation. That’s also a fact.
“We have to work hard and be very concentrated and gather our points to step up.”