The veteran midfielder has been the subject of squad rotation since Andre Villa Boas joined the Stamford Bridge club as coach, with some figures in the press asking whether his time at the top was over.
Despite this, the England international scored in midweek against Valencia, and answered his critics with a fine display against the lowly Trotters.
“I have been around a long time now and it is never plain sailing and you just have to stay strong and let your football do the talking,” he told Sky Sports after the victory.
“If you do that and keep working hard then things come to you, and I think today things came to me.
“It is always satisfying. I am just pleased to be playing and pleased to be contributing. The team has played very well this season most of the time and I just want to contribute when I am playing.
“It is great to play with good players. Stubbs (Daniel Sturridge) puts the first one on a plate for me. I feel like I’ve got a lot left in me and I just want to be part of a successful team and have a good season.
“I don’t think we could have asked for any more. That first-half performance was as good as we have played for a long time, the passing and movement and the goals that came,” he concluded.
Chelsea are three points behind the Manchester clubs at the top of the table, and square up against Everton at home in the their next game on October 15th.
By Gareth McKnight