Chelsea visit the KC Stadium on Saturday with Antonio Conte’s side having also enjoyed a miserable September in the league, failing to win any of their three matches and getting thumped 3-0 by Arsenal last weekend.
“I wouldn’t say it’s a good time to face Chelsea,” Phelan said.
“It’s the time to face them because the calendar says that. We are serious about what we want to do, where we want to go. It’s another game at home and we want to perform and make sure we give them a good game.
“It is important to pick up points in every game. We tried to do that against Arsenal, against Liverpool, but that wasn’t to be. We didn’t come out of it very well as far asconceding goals, but we have an opportunity with 11 men on Saturday. Hopefully we can stay with that and be competitive.”
“I don’t think there’s any such thing as a free hit,” said Phelan, ahead of hosting Chelsea .
“In order to get better and improve, you have to accept the challenges that are there. Nobody wants to lose a football match but we all know somebody has to lose for someone to win. It’s the way you lose that’s important.
“I’ve stressed that to the players. I keep mentioning this word ‘competitive’ and I think we are getting to that point now where the players understand how we want to play and what we’re about. We have to show our own identity in certain situations and gather some momentum.
“We had a good victory in the cup, which is never easy to get a result at Stoke, but then didn’t do so well at Liverpool.
“We were very close against Manchester United, losing with the last kick of the game, and we were extremely good against Leicester and Swansea. We need to regain that little bit of momentum as quickly as we can. Hopefully, that will be this weekend but if not, we’ll prepare for the next one.”