Petr Cech admitted Chelsea's Champions League defeat at Juventus was the worst of his Stamford Bridge career after it pushed them to the brink of becoming the first holders to crash out before Christmas.
Tuesday night's 3-0 loss was not only Chelsea's heaviest ever in the Champions League group stages but it also left them staring at their first December exit from the competition, costing manager Roberto Di Matteo his job.
Speaking before Di Matteo's departure, goalkeeper Cech said: "This is the most disappointing defeat because this is not a team to stop the campaign in the group stage. That is clear. I hope it is not going to happen."
Chelsea face Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester City on Sunday and Cech added: "If we win that game, we will be right back in the title race and everything will look different.
"This is a crucial four days to prepare the Sunday match against Man City and the whole momentum of the season can twist again."
Cech admitted it was inevitable Di Matteo's job had come under pressure on the back of an alarming slump in form that already had owner Roman Abramovich reaching for the panic button.
Chelsea's captain in the absence of John Terry and Frank Lampard said: "In any kind of sport, if you are going through a period like that, unfortunately the coach is the first person to get under pressure and questioning.
"As a player, you come in the next day, try and prepare yourself and do everything you can to be ready for the next game and what happens around is a club decision."
Insisting he believed Di Matteo was "the right man" for the job, he added: "I have no power to keep the manager or to make the manager leave. That's the thing. I am not part of the board or owner of the club.
"I am a player, so I concentrate on what I can do for the manager and what I can do for the team and for myself. That's all I can do."
- Sports & Recreation
- Roberto Di Matteo
- Champions League
- Petr Cech