StoryJohn obi Mikel may have featured in only eight league games

Chelsea midfielder John obi Mikel may have featured in only eight league games so far, but he is one of the long-standing players in the Chelsea dressing room after having been at the club since 2006.

Still just 28, the Nigerian midfielder has been used sparingly by Jose Mourinho. This was surprising given that Mourinho played a huge role in bringing Mikel to the club during his first spell. Amidst several doubts about his future, the 28-year-old has started featuring more often than not in the last few games. This turnaround has happened since the arrival of Guus Hiddink as the interim manager until the end of the season.

Hiddink has already been in the similar capacity back in 2009. After leading the club to FA Cup success, the Dutchman decided to leave Stamford Bridge in order to honour his contract with the Russian national team. This time around, he is only focused on Chelsea for the time being. Mikel says that the arrival of the Dutchman has immediately brought positive vibes in the dressing room. Even thoughHiddink has been unable to win his first two games in charge – against Watford and Manchester United, the performances have improved tremendously in these two games.

The manager has targeted a win in the next league encounter against Crystal Palace.“I think the atmosphere was fine, always fine but we just weren’t getting the results, I don’t know what it was. Jose is a fantastic manager and will always be a fantastic guy. But sometimes football is a cruel game and you have to move on. He came back to the club a second time and won two trophies but now he’s gone and we have to move on. Is it the right decision? Who knows? We’ll only see in the future,” said Mikel.