John Mikel Obi has launched a series of thinly-veiled jibes at Jose Mourinho , indicating the players were more relaxed ‘from day one...
John Mikel Obi has launched a series of thinly-veiled jibes at Jose Mourinho, indicating the players were more relaxed ‘from day one’ of Guus Hiddink taking over and that the Dutchman ‘doesn’t get into people’s business'.
The squad feel respected again, the midfielder explained after their 5-1 FA Cup mauling of Manchester City, and the atmosphere at their Cobham ground has completely changed since Mourinho was sacked in December.
Mikel claims that the majority of the team would like Hiddink to continue as Chelsea manager beyond his short-term deal which ends in the summer.
The 29-year-old struggled under Mourinho, who preferred the partnership of Cesc Fabregas and Nemanja Matic in central midfield, but has become a regular under their interim boss.
“From day one, since Guus has come in, the atmosphere has changed,’ the 29-year-old Mikel said. “The players feel more relaxed, people know what their jobs are and people are getting on with their jobs in a more relaxed way. And a way they can perform very well. “He has given responsibility to people and expects them to thrive on it and make sure they do it in way where they feel comfortable. I think that is what the players are showing now. “When you come into the training ground, the players are more relaxed, he doesn’t get into people’s business, he gets on with his own thing and players feel very comfortable and know exactly what to do so when he gets on the training pitch, he doesn’t need to speak. “We all know what he wants and it is the same when we go into a game.” The Nigeria star said like most of the Chelsea players he will want Dutchman Hiddink to stay beyond this season. “I want him to stay,” he said. “It is the choice of the owner, the club and the board. They will have to decide. But if you speak to the players, 98 or 99 per cent of them want him to stay so I mean, we are very happy, we are performing well and let’s hope this continues. “It depends on the board and it depends on Guus if he wants to continue. He has said that he is here until the end of the season but you never know, he might change his mind. If the club want to appoint him fair enough. His record speaks for itself.”