Psyche is a fragile thing in football; all it takes is a few things to go wrong for the ship to sink completely. This was the case for Jose Mourinho's Chelsea last season, as the Portuguese manager watched his side sink as far down the table as 16th before getting sacked in December.
Fast forward, and Antonio Conte's boys are aiming to make it four wins from four on Sunday when they travel to Liberty Stadium to battle Swansea City.
The Blues (3-0-0), close to unchanged from the side that finished 10th last season aside from nabbing N'Golo Kante away from Champions Leicester City, have responded to a new voice in the dressing room and more resemble the team that won the league title in 2014-15.
After a pair of 2-1 wins to open the season, Conte's club added some style in a 3-0 destruction of Burnley prior to the international break. Eden Hazard, who managed only four goals last season in league play, opened the scoring after nine minutes while Willian and Victor Moses also contributed goals.
Conte was happy with his side's ability to keep a clean sheet and maintain some defencive consistency.
"I'm pleased to score the goals, it's always important to score one more goal than your opponent, but to keep a clean sheet is also important for the confidence of the whole team," the Italian manager said. "When you keep a clean sheet, the whole team works very well, not only the defenders. When we concede a goal, all of the team concedes a goal.
"If I am able to choose our way to defend it is to go forward and not behind. When you stay too much behind, there is the long ball and anything can happen. We are improving this aspect."
After opening the campaign with an impressive 1-0 victory over Burnley away from home, Swansea City (1-0-2) are aiming to find their way back to the winning track after two straight setbacks.
The Swans performed admirably at Leicester prior to the break, but found themselves behind by a pair of strikes after 52 minutes as Jamie Vardy and Wes Morgan fired the hosts in front. New signing Leroy Fer pulled one back for the Swans with 10 minutes to play, but an equalizer proved elusive.
Swansea manager Francesco Guidolin told his club it is time to deliver the goods opposite Chelsea.
"I think we have a good team," Guidolin declared. "I am happy with my players and I think it's important to look to the future with optimism. But it's time to do well on the pitch, because I was disappointed with the last game at Leicester.
"We prepared another game before Leicester, but they played very well in the first half and they deserved to win. We have to change this because the Premier League is very hard, but with my players I am confident."
Guidolin has been pleased with his team's training ahead of this fixture.
"In the last two weeks we have worked hard to prepare for the game against Chelsea," he said. "We have not had a lot of players (because of the international break), but I think we have worked well."
Swansea beat and an undermanned Chelsea club the last time they met in April, but in order to begin ascending up the table, defender Angel Rangel believes they need to play better at home.
"I think now more than ever the Liberty has to be a fortress for us," Rangel said. "We didn't win our first home game so that means the second is more important.
"It's against one of the big clubs, but we did beat Chelsea last season. I know it is not the same Chelsea now, but we are at home and we have to rely on our home form. We need to show the fans and the Premier League that the Liberty is a difficult place to come. We have lost that a bit but I am sure we will show that again."