The Blues suffered an untimely defeat to fellow top-four hopefuls in their latest outing, with the door being kept open in a Champions League bid.

Mateo Kovacic says Chelsea have to”wake up” in their ongoing bid to secure Champions League eligibility and show they can turn potential into being a”good team”.

The Blues saw their top-four bid endure another untimely blow on Monday when slipping into a 2-0 home defeat against Manchester United.

Frank Lampard’s side have come back against the Red Devils on three events across all competitions this year.

Their most recent reversal has left them just one point clear of the chasing pack in fourth, with United moving to within three points of the west London outfit.

Fifth could be enough to secure a seat at European football’s top table this year, with Manchester City was stung with a two-year Champions League ban by UEFA.

They will, nevertheless, be appealing those sanctions and Kovacic admits that Chelsea should elevate their game and keep destiny in their own hands.

The Croatia international told the club’s official site on the back of a frustrating evening against United: “We will need to improve a good deal because we’ve got tough games ahead of us and we must get focused.

“We must train hard every day, to prepare our games better and attempt to avoid our mistakes since we’re making too many mistakes in these sorts of games and you get penalized.

“We have a fantastic week ahead of us to prepare for Tottenham and also to play a fantastic match. We know this game means a great deal for us since Tottenham are close behind us so we will need to prepare ourselves quite a lot to win this game in your home.

“We’re still fourth so we’re still in a good position but we will need to wake up because they’re coming from behind. We will need to play these upcoming games like we had been playing at the start of the year and change some things also, obviously.”

Chelsea saw two efforts ruled out by VAR contrary to United, but Kovacic isn’t searching for explanations at an important stage of the season and needs the Blues to demonstrate that they can come through struggles for consistency and cement a standing among the Premier League elite.

He added: “We played well at first but it’s always the same against United – we play great, we create opportunities, we do not score and they score from 1 opportunity.

“We do not have the 3 points and that is the main thing. It was a fantastic game from us, we played like we have for more or less the entire season, but we made some silly mistakes and we lost the things.

“We’re still a very young team and we will need to improve a lot. Now we’ll see if we’re a terrific team because we’ve got some challenging games to fight for the fourth place and we will need to show ourselves.”

Chelsea have a derby date with old adversaries Tottenham to come on Saturday, before focus then turns to the first leg of a heavyweight Champions League last-16 experience with Bayern Munich.