Jose Mourinho described Chelsea's 3-0 win at Southampton as the "perfect" performance -- but again suggested the Blues were not contenders to win the Premier League title.
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Victories against Swansea, Liverpool and Southampton -- complimented by a 0-0 draw at Arsenal two days before Christmas -- added up to a sparkling festive period for Mourinho's men, who built on those results on the south coast.
"This match was perfect, but it was particularly difficult because you need to work a lot to play against Southampton," he said. "They play very good football, you have to be compact at the back and press the ball all the time.
"This period is difficult for everyone, and in our case it was very difficult because we played Arsenal, Liverpool and then Southampton away. We always had suspensions and injuries, so the squad was brilliant in the way they answered to our needs.
"We are not candidates to win the league, but we are always candidates to win the next match."
Mourinho said he expected Chelsea to have a quiet January transfer window, saying: "The window is open, and when it's open anything can happen -- but we don't think a lot is going to happen for us. If somebody really wants to leave, probably we have to bring in somebody but we are going to do things in a very calm way.
"I know what I'm building and what we are building at the club. Next summer will be a moment to make a couple of clinical buys and improve our team in that direction. We work and improve and try to bring the young players to a different level, and we are doing that quite successfully."
Mourinho also revealed that Branislav Ivanovic and Frank Lampard are likely to miss the whole of January through injury.