Carlo Ancelotti reflected with satisfaction on his opening months at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea prepared to enter the new year as Barclays Premier League leaders.
The Blues edged west London neighbours Fulham 2-1 on Monday to restore their five-point lead at the top of the table. It was only their second victory of a torrid December spanning eight games and Ancelotti is pleased the month is over.
"Yes I'm satisfied. It was not a good December for us but that month is finished and now we look forward to January," he said. "We can do better and maintain our position at the top of the table."
It was a far from convincing performance against in-form Fulham, who opened the scoring when Zoltan Gera pounced after John Terry failed to clear.
Chelsea, who picked Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou for the last time before the African Nations Cup, enjoyed lots of possession but made little impression until the closing stages, when they struck twice in two minutes.
Drogba notched the first when he rose above Chris Baird to nod home a Branislav Ivanovic cross before Chris Smalling, making his full debut, was responsible for a cruel own goal.
Ancelotti was delighted by his players' response in adversity.
"This match didn't come at a good time for us," said the Italian. "We went behind and the most important thing is the reaction in the second half, which was fantastic.
"With this performance we finished a difficult period for the team.
"This could be an important victory in the season because I'm very happy with the reaction of the team during a bad spell."