Chelsea legend Frank Lampard insists "something has to change right now" if the Premier League champions are to salvage their season after defeat away to Leicester City on Monday.
Jose Mourinho's men succumbed to goals in each half from Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez at the King Power Stadium. And despite a late rally Loic Remy's 77th minute strike could not prevent a ninth defeat in 16 matches that leaves Chelsea just a single point above the relegation zone.
After the match, Mourinho accused his players of betraying his work as speculation over the manager's future at Stamford Bridge grows, and Lampard believes his former boss doesn't know how to turn the team's fortunes around.
"What I take from that is he's not sure where to go with it," Lampard said in his role as a Sky Sports pundit. "He's tried being strong with them, quite a lot of times earlier in the season. He's tried to be positive, saying after Tottenham that it was their best performance of the season.
"I'm not sure what he's saying there. He's not happy with them and I don't think he sees a way out. I think it was quite crucial when he asked whether they over-performed last year or are they just bad players? He wasn't quite sure. He's questioning them about how they can turn this around."
It is not the first time this season that Mourinho has publicly slated his players after a defeat. The Portuguese has singled out Diego Costa, Eden Hazard, Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas over their performance level in recent months, and Lampard feels such criticism is justified while the defeats persist.
"They're good players," he insisted. "Far too many are underperforming and they have been for a while. Chelsea, in a bad year, should be top six, still there or thereabouts. Where they are at the moment is impossible.
"I don't know whether he's lost them but something has to change right now, whether it's the attitude or the performance."
When asked if the manager needed to change, Lampard replied: "That's only one man's decision, and that will be Roman Abramovich. He's probably looking at it very closely.
"We've been here before at Chelsea where managers change in the middle of the season. I don't know how many times you can do that. We had some good results from doing it before but we had a different set of players at that point.
"What they set out when they brought Jose back was a long-term plan. What can they gain by getting rid of him now? They're not going to get top four or top six, if we're honest, so I'm sure there's a view that says to Abramovich let's see what happens at the end of the season. Why make a rash change now that can't affect the year? Let's see where we are at the end of the season."