John Terry has has told his Chelsea team-mates to "liven up", insisting rotation was no excuse for their recent malaise.
Terry made his long-awaited first start since returning from injury in Sunday's FA Cup fourth-round tie at Brentford and was far from impressed by another "lacklustre" performance as they narrowly avoided a humiliating giant-killing.
It was the latest in a long line of disappointing results in key games this season, which has seen Chelsea's interest in five trophies ended already and has left them 11 points behind leaders Manchester United in the Barclays Premier League title race.
Interim manager Rafael Benitez has bemoaned the lack of resources at his disposal during what has been a punishing run of games but Terry insisted the current squad is capable of more.
He told Chelsea TV: "We need to liven up a bit and realise the importance to the fans and the club. Champions League football is a must next season.
"We saw last season, going to the Champions League final, suffering with all the extra games and stuff like that, we ended up finishing sixth in the League.
"It's difficult but we have a squad and it's down to the players who come in to rotate and play well."
Sunday was Terry's first start since he suffered a knee injury in November, but it was Chelsea's 40th game already this season.
He added: "Even though it's great to be back personally, on a team performance we should be winning the game and now we've made it difficult for ourselves with a replay again.
"We have another game we could do without but we should beat them at the Bridge. I was disappointed because we didn't fight and they wanted it more.
"We're not [winning any trophies at the moment]. It's disappointing going to Swansea and not scoring over two legs of the [Capital One Cup] semi-final. Being so lacklustre, like we were at Brentford.
"Over the two legs against Swansea, at home we did better but going there, I'd rather we'd lost that three or 4-0 and give it a go and we didn't do that."