Thursday 8 December 2016

Chelsea dressing room happier since Jose Mourinho left - John Obi Mikel

Tom Sheen

Published 30/12/2015 | 14:20

Chelsea's John Obi Mikel in action with Manchester United's Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin
Chelsea's John Obi Mikel in action with Manchester United's Bastian Schweinsteiger and Morgan Schneiderlin

Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel has revealed that the atmosphere in the first-team dressing room has improved since the departure of Jose Mourinho.

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The Portuguese was sacked earlier this month with the club sitting just a point above the dressing room and because of a "palpable discord" between the manager and his players, so said technical director Michael Emenalo.

Mourinho may have led Chelsea to the Premier League title last season, for the first time in five years, but his poor relationship with the players had become a major issue, according to the club hierarchy.

Mikel, who played his 350th game for Chelsea in the 2-2 draw with Watford and was solid in a holding midfield role in the 0-0 draw at Manchester United, says the mood in the dressing room is much better under interim manager Guus Hiddink.

"We've moved on from that and the atmosphere has improved since the change of manager," he said. "It's fine now, we've just not been getting results.

"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.

"Is it the right decision? Who knows? We'll only see in the future."

Mikel also refused to give up on Chelsea finishing in the top four and securing Champions League football for next season, despite the Blues 15 points behind Tottenham.

"Top four? I don't think it's gone," he added.

"We've got lots of games to catch up and if we keep going in this direction and keeping clean sheets, we will definitely score goals. We've had three games now without losing so are making the right steps."

Independent News Service

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