BOLTON, January 23- Carlo Ancelotti believes Chelsea's trip to face Bolton on Monday could be the decisive moment in his side's campaign.
Ancelotti is confident his team have moved on from the depressing run that saw them drop from the top of the Premier League to fifth place, raising doubts about their ability to claim a Champions League place.
But successive victories over Ipswich Town in the FA Cup followed by the league win against Blackburn have revived flagging spirits at Stamford Bridge.
Ancelotti, though, is acutely aware his team’s away form must improve and they head to the Reebok Stadium seeking three points on their travels for the first time since October.
With five of their next six games in all competitions away from home, it is vital the champions end that run if they are to revive their hopes of lifting silverware this season.
"I said after the Blackburn game that it was an important win, but the important test will come against Bolton. It’s away and we’ve not won away since October," Ancelotti said.
"It will be difficult and it’s important we come back to win. We have to show the bad moment has gone.
"Looking the way the players have trained, it seems we’re really better. The players are fitter and are training with more confidence.
"Obviously, we need the results. The most important thing is always the result. It doesn’t matter if I feel things are better. We have to make a result."
Chelsea’s hopes of claiming victory haven’t been helped by training ground injuries to influential pair John Terry and Frank Lampard.
Lampard, who has a calf problem, is the greater doubt, while Terry is confident he will recover from a back complaint in time.
If Lampard misses out, his place is likely to go to the talented 17-year-old Josh McEachran, who has made great strides this season.
Lampard admits he has taken great pleasure in helping the teenager make the transition into the first team.
"Other clubs show great examples of that with players like Ryan Giggs helping people around them and you do have to take that responsibility on," Lampard told Chelsea’s website.
"Particularly with young Josh coming into midfield it is quite a nice responsibility. He is going to be a top player and it is enjoyable to try to help him.
"I enjoy playing with the young players because they bring a real freshness into the team and into training."
Bolton’s week has been dominated by the death last weekend of club president Nat Lofthouse, who served the club as player and manager.
Wanderers current manager Owen Coyle has urged his players to mark the emotional occasion with a first victory over Chelsea since 1997.
"He was the greatest player Bolton ever had and we want to make sure the players do justice to themselves," Coyle said.
"We have to make sure we are at our best and we represent every supporter – and Nat was a supporter – in the best way we can. We want everyone to come out and remember.
"It’s very sad Nat has passed away, but we should also remember and celebrate what he brought to the club and the integral part he played in it and always will.
"I felt we were unfortunate not to come away with anything in the game at Stamford Bridge earlier this season.
"I think we have been harshly dealt with in the last two games. But we are back at the Reebok where we have been in terrific form and we have to maximise that and look to try to win the game. If we play to our best I believe we can."