MIKEL: I CAN'T WAIT FOR FINAL CHANCE

Posted on: Mon 22 Jan 2007

John Mikel Obi is a rarity in the current Chelsea squad - a player who has yet to appear in a domestic cup final. Tuesday night's game against Wycombe stands between our 19-year-old midfielder and the chance to do so.

 

Mikel has played in all but one of the last nine games including his first Chelsea start as a holding midfielder at Anfield on Saturday. He was widely accepted as one of our better players in the 2-0 defeat.

 

The games keep coming thick and fast and for some legs that may be a drain. For a young player learning his trade in England however, they can't come quickly enough.

 

'It is really good to keep playing games so that you can get in a rhythm,' says Mikel, who insists the squad is raring to get back on the field and work the Liverpool defeat out of the system.

 

'We had a disappointment last game but we want make up for it by going out there and making sure we win this game.

 

'The spirit is still good, the lads still have confidence in everything we are doing.'

 

The closest Mikel has come to anything like the Carling Cup Final that awaits in Cardiff, if Chelsea build successfully on the 1-1 draw brought back from Wycombe, was the FIFA World Under 20 Championship.

 

There he was a silver medallist with Nigeria.

 

'I am really, really exited about the possibility of playing in this cup final,' he says. 'I can't wait for the Wycombe game to get started. I just want to get in there and make sure we win.

 

'Wycombe were aggressive. They were out there to play and they showed they wanted to win.

 

'But we want it as well. As everyone knows, we have been having defensive problems. It is one of those things where we try to make corrections and we try see if we can adjust and make sure everything starts going well.'

 

With Claude Makelele back from suspension, it remains to be seen if and where José Mourinho requires Mikel to play in Tuesday's game.

 

'Makelele is Makelele and I am John Mikel,' he says of his anchor experience on Saturday.

 

'I have played there before and if the manager wants me to play there, that is why I am here.

 

'I love to be in the team and anywhere he wants me to play, I can go and give my best and try to make sure everything goes well. Anywhere in the midfield is okay for me.'