Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho believes that there is more to come from Andre Schurrle after the Germany international's hat-trick sent his side four points clear at the Premier League summit.
Schurrle has struggled to establish himself in Mourinho's starting line-up and his appearance in Saturday's 3-1 win at Fulham was only his eighth league start since his Â£18 million ($30.1 million, 21.8 million euros) move from Bayer Leverkusen last June.
But he strengthened his claim for more regular action with a second-half treble at Craven Cottage -- his first goals since early December.
Schurrle produced three excellent finishes within 17 minutes and Mourinho believes that the fleet-footed forward is now coming to terms with life in the Premier League.
"It's something I expect from Schurrle. He's in a learning process in relation to the Premier League," Mourinho said. "He needs to understand what the Premier League is, to experiment.
"The referees are good, don't give many faults, the defenders are aggressive, the teams are fighting teams. He is in a learning process.
"It's difficult for him to play 90 minutes for us, doing things he's never done in his life, but what I expect from him is cold blood.
"In front of goal, he's not the kind of guy where the goal becomes very small. He normally scores. He sees the keeper's reaction, he can score with right or left, he's a good finisher. This is what I expect from him."
Mourinho admitted that he had been disappointed by his side's first-half display and revealed that he had left his team in silence during the half-time break.
"It was silent," he said. "Like that. Normally I give them two or three minutes for them to advise (each other), to clean or change boots or shirts. After that they know I'll start talking.
"They were there, ready for me, but I was not ready for them. I decided not to speak because, if I started to speak about the first half, I'd need more than the 10 minutes of half-time.
"They showed they were very intelligent. Without words, they understand -- especially if you know the person -- what goes in their minds, so they knew the first half was really poor and they transformed it into a fantastic second half."
Fulham's Jonny Heitinga claimed a 74th-minute consolation, but Chelsea's lead was never threatened.
Arsenal's defeat at Stoke City ensured that Chelsea moved four points clear of them, but Mourinho again played down his side's title prospects, highlighting Manchester City's position six points adrift but with two games in hand.
"We have four points more than Arsenal, (after) the same number of matches," he said.
"If City win their two matches in hand, they're top. I'm there for now, but if City win the two matches, they're top."
Fulham remain at the foot of the table but new manager Felix Magath, who blamed the loss of skipper and centre-back Brede Hangeland to an early injury for the defeat, insists that his side can still escape relegation.
"I think it was a problem Hangeland was not there," said the German, who succeeded Rene Meulensteen as manager last month.
"I cannot imagine we would have made these mistakes with Brede there. He is a very important player and hopefully he will come back next week. I don't know because he has gone to hospital."
He added: "If you take over a team that has not won for a long time, they are missing confidence. We started very well but after you get one goal (conceded), you don't have the morale to come back.
"Of course there is hope. We played well in the first half and next time we have to play like this for 45 minutes."