Chelsea captain Gary Cahill admits warning manager Antonio Conte the players were struggling with fatigue earlier this month.
Humiliating 3-0 and 4-1 defeats by Bournemouth and Watford respectively seemed to warrant another inquest but Cahill thought a different approach was needed as he looked at his demoralised team-mates.
He told the London Evening Standard: “I mentioned the idea of taking more days off to the coach. I just felt that there were a lot of bad feelings around the place.
“It was important for everyone mentally to get away. Sometimes it's unhealthy to be in the same environment all of the time, especially when there is a lot of negativity around for whatever reason.
“This was the first time I could remember this season that we had a free week in between games. I thought it was a great opportunity to mentally freshen our minds up and physically freshen the bodies up. Everyone knows we do a lot of physical training on top of the games we are playing.
“So to take ourselves away from the surroundings, for partners to be with their family and kids, gave us that distraction so that we could come back and refocus on the job."
Cahill also says Liverpool and Tottenham have avoided the same scrutiny as Chelsea.
He said: “I'm not knocking Liverpool and Spurs whatsoever because they have played some fantastic football and have some terrific players.
“But you put it into context — we are sandwiched in the middle of those two and yet everything seems rosy there and it's all drama and a disaster here. It's been that way a lot of the time since I have been at Chelsea and it does get tiring."