Maurizio Sarri believes challenging for the Premier League remains a step too far for Chelsea despite their 100 per cent record in the opening weeks of the 2018-19 season.
Sarri arrived at Stamford Bridge in July and has hit the ground running, winning all four of their league matches prior to the international break.
Only Liverpool and Watford have matched Chelsea's impressive start, with champions Manchester City two points behind having drawn with Wolves last month.
But Sarri does not see his side battling for the title at the end of the season, instead thinking Liverpool and City will be the two teams vying for silverware.
"At the moment, I can only see City or Liverpool [winning it], at the moment," he told a media conference.
"We need another step to be at the same level. I think [it is too soon], but I hope not!
"It is very difficult to recover 30 points in one season, very difficult.
"We need to improve. My feeling is that we are not a very solid team in the defensive phase, we need to improve and we can, my feeling during the training is that this team can improve."
We’re back in action tomorrow! https://t.co/aMNODPr76w— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 14, 2018
Chelsea could welcome Cesc Fabregas back to the matchday squad against Cardiff City on Saturday, the Spanish midfielder having missed the start of the campaign with a knee injury.
Fabregas is likely to only be fit for a place on the bench, though, and could replace Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who picked up an injury on international duty with England.
"The best news is Fabregas, he is very well, he was training with the team during the week so now he only has to improve his physical condition," added the Italian. "I think in one week he will be ready to play.
"I think that at the moment Fabregas can be on the bench, but I want to speak to him, I think maybe it is better to have two days of training.
"Yesterday [Thursday] there were problems with fever for Emerson [Palmieri] and [Davide] Zappacosta, and a little problem after the match with the national team for Loftus-Cheek.
"I don't know the situation, I have to speak to the doctor, I don't know if he will be able to play."
|Seahawks rally past Packers|
|Lakers G Rondo to miss 4-5 weeks|
|Durant is done with questions about Green|
|Smith, Warner set to return to IPL in 2019|
|No rivalry between Mbappe and Griezmann – Deschamps|
|Neymar: Emery will bring success to Arsenal|
|Jedvaj backs Croatia to deliver against England|
|Howell grabs first-round lead at Sea Island|
|Rooney backing Kane to break England record|
|Betts named American League MVP|
|Republic of Ireland must improve, says under-pressure O´Neill|
|Injured Sergio Ramos to leave Spain squad|
|Yelich named National League MVP|
|Low praises ´beautiful goals´ from Sane and Gnabry|
|Belgium boss Martinez pleased with patient Batshuayi|
|Wilson and Sancho pay tribute to England ´legend´ Rooney|
|Rooney gave England squad a lesson in humility - Southgate|
|This Week in U.S. Sports: LeBron passes Chamberlain, Williamson looking like he is next|
|We still have a chance - Luis Enrique not giving up hope after Spain defeat|
|Rockets ´parting ways´ with Anthony|
|Rooney became ´embarrassed´ at Manchester United|
|Federer: ´Easier´ to play when I´m up against it|
|Rooney convinced England are in safe hands with Southgate|
|Black Caps skipper Williamson confident over first Test availability|
|Federer cruises into last four of ATP Finals for 15th time|
|Republic of Ireland 0 Northern Ireland 0: Randolph saves light up bore draw|
|England 3 United States 0: Experimental side impresses on Rooney farewell|
|Croatia 3 Spain 2: Jedvaj keeps World Cup finalists in contention|
|Belgium 2 Iceland 0: Batshuayi rekindles Hazard flame with match-winning brace|
|Germany 3 Russia 0: Sane on target as Low´s men stroll|
|´Fancy taking a look at Brexit?´ - Southampton credit Austin with VAR breakthrough|
|Green: Altercation with Durant will make Warriors stronger|
|Juventus star Dybala dismisses Manchester United links|
|Strinic given all clear to return to AC Milan training|
|Papier wait over as scrum-half starts for Springboks|
|MLB commissioner Manfred gets five-year extension|
|South Africa international Du Preez joins brother at Sale|
|Pogba and Sterling support my football dream, says Bolt|
|Asensio wants to ´feel more important´ at Real Madrid|
|Former Roosters and Cowboys centre Linnett joins Hull KR|
|New team tournament ATP Cup wins Djokovic´s approval|
|Roma and Pallotta donate €150,000 to injured Liverpool fan Sean Cox|
|England captain Root reprimanded on frustrating day in Pallekele|
|Jokanovic proud of establishing Fulham´s ´footballing identity´|
|Huget to make first France appearance in a year|
|Mourinho and squad ´united´ despite ´mixed´ start, says Woodward|
|Petaia and Gordon to make Wallabies debuts in Padova|
|Barcelona star Arthur determined not to let Xavi praise go to his head|
|Youthful Netherlands have forged strong bond - Wijnaldum|
|Premier League confirms £5m package for departing chief Scudamore|
|Thiem blasts past Nishikori to keep semi-final hopes alive|
|He´s always got time for me – Gerrard loved learning from Liverpool boss Klopp|
|Kearney and Ringrose return for All Blacks clash|
|Molinari on course for Race to Dubai title, Smith and Otaegui lead|
|Premier League to implement VAR from 2019-20 season|
|FSF urges Premier League clubs to reject Scudamore ´golden handshake´ request|
|Rhinos pull off Merrin coup|
|Ribery apologises for reporter altercation|
|Ford to captain much-changed England, Cokanasiga starts|
|Crotty replaces injured Williams for Ireland showdown|
|Classy Roshen gives Sri Lanka unlikely lead|
|Injured Lukaku out of Belgium-Iceland Nations League clash|
|Rooney ´passionate´ about future coaching career|
|Mehidy spins Tigers to victory despite second Taylor hundred|
|Rooney deserves special England day - Antonio|
|LeBron thinks back to his roots after latest milestone|
|Messi to return for Argentina next year - General manager Burruchaga|
|Walton salutes LeBron after he surpasses Chamberlain|
|Croatia´s Dalic and Modric not out for Spain revenge|
|Rondo to miss ´a few weeks´ with broken hand|