GARY CAHILL believes confidence is building at Chelsea as Jose Mourinho's men aim to keep the pressure on Premier League leaders Arsenal and second-placed Manchester City.
A 3-1 win at Stamford Bridge left defending champions Manchester United 14 points adrift of Arsenal, but moved Chelsea two points behind the Gunners with 16 league games to go.
It was Chelsea's sixth win in seven Premier League matches, conceding just three goals, and means Manchester City, Liverpool and United have all lost at Stamford Bridge this season.
"The lads are feeling confident, we're going about our business quietly and we're churning out results at this moment in time, so we hope that continues," Cahill said.
"There's a good feeling among the squad. We're there, we're in and around.
"Arsenal and Man City aren't dropping points at the moment, so we need to be within touching distance. We are, and we're happy with how it's going."
Samuel Eto'o scored all three goals after justifying Mourinho's selection of the Cameroonian ahead of Fernando Torres.
"I love big games," Eto'o said. "Before the game, I spoke with Jose I told him I like big games and I wanted to play in this game.
"It's tough. He has big strikers, Fernando, Demba. He gave me my opportunity. I'm so happy for me, for the team and the supporters."
Eto'o has been linked with a move to Major League Soccer after an indifferent start to his Premier League career, but the former Barcelona ace would favour a return to Real Mallorca.
He said: "I have signed all season for Chelsea and I try to enjoy it and then to Mallorca."
Cahill was influential in two of Eto'o's goals, creating the second with an incisive pass before seeing his header saved as the striker scored a third.
"This hat-trick is going to do his confidence the world of good," Cahill said. "He's been involved in massive games in the past.
"It's great to have a player of that ability – with all his experience – in our squad."
Chelsea next play Stoke in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday before resuming Premier League duty at home to West Ham and away to Manchester City.
Torres replaced Eto'o against United, but suffered a knee injury which will keep him out for a number of weeks, meaning Mourinho will give Demba Ba his opportunity.
Ba has not started for Chelsea since the Premier League win at Norwich on October 6 and has been limited to short cameos off the bench when in the squad.
Nevertheless, Mourinho insists he has never lost faith in the Senegal striker and repeated that he will not be buying a frontman in the winter transfer window.
"We are not going to make any further investment in this market relating to a striker," Mourinho said.