Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel has revealed that the club’s manager, Jose Mourinho, has instilled a strong work ethic at Stamford Bridge by making players fear for their places, ESPN
Mourinho returned to Chelsea after six years away last summer and has shown little hesitation in benching players he does not feel are pulling their weight, with two-time Chelsea Player of the Year Juan Mata an increasingly regular fixture on the sidelines. Mikel says that Mourinho has little time for those he feels are not doing their share of the legwork.
“[Mourinho] always wants us to play in a certain way and give 110%. If you don’t, you’re out,” Mikel said. “As a player, that’s what you want.
“You don’t want to slack, you don’t want to sit down and think, ‘You’re the best, I don’t want to defend or I don’t want to run’. If you don’t do those things, you don’t play,” the Nigeria international continued.
“That’s the mentality he wants instilled in this team, and slowly but surely the likes of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Willian are beginning to do that. It’s a matter of letting them know what it means when you come to the end of the season.”
Mikel was one of a handful of the Chelsea squad who played under Mourinho in his first tenure at the west London club, alongside the likes of Petr Cech, John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Michael Essien. The 26-year-old joined the Blues in 2006 after a protracted transfer and has gone on to play 300 times for the club.
“It was always going to be difficult to make the new players understand the way he wants the team to play,” Mikel admitted. “ But I think they’re now getting the message. Hopefully, come the end of the season, the will start to show the winning mentality even more that the manager is trying to instil into them and we’ll go on from there and win trophies.”
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