Nigeria captain, Mikel John Obi, has stated that he is ready to “work hard” to get back into the Chelsea team this season after holding talks with the club manager, Antonio Conte.
The 29-year-old is yet to make an appearance for Chelsea this season with Frenchman, N’Golo Kante and Nemanja Matic preferred ahead of him in the defensive midfield role.
After holding some sorts of showdown talks with Chelsea’s Italian trainer recently, Mikel said he accepts the explanation of Conte and is going to roll up his sleeves and worm his way into the heart of the manager.
However, the midfielder hopes that he would get the nod to start against West Ham when they play hosts to Chelsea in the EFL Cup today.
“I hope I will get some playing time against West Ham [in the EFL Cup], but it is down to the manager. He has been open and honest with me. I respect him for that. He has explained the situation and I totally understand.
“When you have been at a club for a long time, these things happen where a club wants to move forward. I just have to be professional, work as hard as I can to try and get into the team. I work twice as hard every day and it’s because I appreciate this club.
“I have been here a long time, have a lot of trophies and memories that will never go away. If I don’t get back in the side, I will respect it. I always respect the football club’s decision. The club is more important than me,” Mikel said.
Mikel, who joined Chelsea in 2006, did not start this campaign with the Blues as he was away on international duty with Nigeria at the Olympic Games in Brazil.