Frank Sinclair claims Chelsea can forget about winning the Premier League title after their defeat to bottom club Queens Park Rangers.
The Blues crashed to a shock 1-0 loss at Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night, with old boy Shaun Wright-Phillips delivering the killer blow.
It has left the west London club 14 points behind leaders Manchester United and Sinclair believes a top four spot is the best Rafa Benitez can hope for now.
“If we had won that game you would have said, if Man United drop points, we could still be involved. Now the priority has got to be to make sure we finish in the top four,” said the former Chelsea defender, speaking to the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.
Benitez has drawn criticism for resting Ramires, Juan Mata and Eden Hazard against Harry Redknapp's side but Sinclair has defended the Spaniard’s decision to rotate his squad after a busy festive period.
“You can't blame the manager [for the defeat]," added Sinclair.
"He freshened up the midfield with three players who are internationals – Moses, Oscar and Marko Marin. They all play for world class international teams.
"I’m not saying it's them to blame for the defeat but the team didn't look at it on the night.
"Hopefully it will be a kick up the backside for the players and will show them you can't just put the shirt on and roll teams over. I expect some sort of response come the weekend."