John Obi Mikel feels the departure of Jose Mourinho has significantly improved the atmosphere at Chelsea even though they have yet to find their best form.
The Portuguese manager was sacked earlier in December following the club's disappointing start to the 2015-16 campaign, with several players reportedly unhappy with the former Real Madrid coach.
Chelsea beat Sunderland in their first game without Mourinho, before recording draws with Watford and Manchester United, and Mikel is pleased with the way things have been going since the 52-year-old's exit.
"We've moved on from that and the atmosphere has improved since the change of manager," the midfielder told reporters.
"It's fine now, we've just not been getting results.
"Jose is a fantastic manager and will always be a fantastic guy. But sometimes football is a cruel game and you have to move on.
"Is it the right decision? Who knows? We'll only see in the future."
Chelsea have climbed to 14th spot in the table following their three-game unbeaten run, but are still 15 points off the Champions League places.
Nevertheless, Mikel refuses to give up on a top-four finish.
"Top four? I don't think it's gone," he added.
"We've got lots of games to catch up and if we keep going in this direction and keeping clean sheets, we will definitely score goals.
"We've had three games now without losing so are making the right steps."