By Chelsea correspondent Tony Hughes

Gianfranco Zola has pointed the finger at Eden Hazard and Diego Costa for Chelsea’s wretched run of results.

The attacking duo have failed to replicate their form of last season and have been key factors in the team’s downturn.

Chelsea are 16th in the Premier League and have lost a remarkable seven of their 12 league matches this season in the worst defence of a title in the competition’s history.

“There is no one compelling reason for the poor start to the season,” club legend Zola said to FIFA.com. “The poor form of key offensive players Eden Hazard and Diego Costa has not helped.

“Defensively as well the team dropped the standards set last year. So the players have lost confidence as a group and this has led to poor results.

“The club has it in them to turn around their fortunes.”

Jose Mourinho has had a stay of execution following talks with owner Roman Abramovich and his job is not believed to be under imminent threat.

Moody blues: Diego Costa has been off the boil this season

Moody blues: Diego Costa has been off the boil this season

Zola, who has had spells as manager at West Ham, Watford and Cagliari, isn’t putting himself into the frame but admits he would like to return to Stamford Bridge as boss one day.

“My dream, let us say my ambition, is to be Chelsea manager someday,” the 49-year-old explained. “I realise that I need to improve as a manager if I want to get there. And I am working hard to achieve my goal.”