Chelsea boss Graham Potter has provided a brutally honest verdict on the fixture schedule after his side fell to defeat at Newcastle United.
Joe Willock's second-half strike was enough to sink Chelsea and see their poor run of form continue.
The midfielder beat Edouard Mendy with a fantastic effort after Miguel Almiron's smart piece of work, but the Blues could not mount a comeback at St James' Park.
The defeat sees Chelsea fall to their third in a row in the Premier League as they have now gone five without a win in the competition.
Speaking after the match, Potter discussed the reasoning for the defeat and heavily hinted at the impact in the fixture schedule since he took over from Thomas Tuchel.
When asked about what he thought was the reasoning for their loss, Potter told BBC Match of the Day: "For different reasons, you have 13 matches in six weeks, a lot of those games away from home.
"It is what it is and it has been tough challenging. We have a break now and we need to re-energise.
"For us in terms of what we've had with an incredibly intense period, it is what it is. We need to take the positives.
"A lot of the boys will be away but we can get away, regroup and go again when we come back."
The head coach continued to discuss the match in depth, revealing his decisions for in-game changes.
"You could see in the first half they were pushing us back," he said.
"We could not get out of the defensive third as much as we like. So we put on an extra man in the middle of the pitch.
"Conor had a good shot but then our defensive line was a bit off and we conceded a good finish."
The Englshman will now have the opportunity to work with his players during the World Cup break as he looks to put an end to their poor run of form.
Returning to Premier League action next month, Chelsea know that they are up against it in the race for the top four.
However, it is still doable, but will require a fine run of form from Potter's men.
Up next is a trip to the Middle East for those who are not on international duty over the next month.
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