Chelsea midfielder Mikel Obi has explained his few numbers of goals for the club and style of play insisting he works strictly to the manager’s instructions.
The Nigerian, who has won the FA Cup four times with Chelsea, netted his fourth goal for the Blues in the 66th minute of the FA Cup match against Derby County on Sunday. The goal, coming in his 300th appearance for the club, sent the fans into wild jubilation, not only for the lead but for Mikel, who has been described as ‘goal shy’ in the team.
In his post-match reaction on Chelsea website, the midfielder insists he plays according to manager Jose Mourinho’s game plan hence the scarcity of his goals.
But Mikel obviously enjoyed the reaction of the Chelsea fans to his goal. As after his strike against Fulham earlier in the season, the song was ‘He scores when he wants,’ but the 26-year-old said, “You have to understand the manager wants me to do a job for the team and I have always done that, always tried to keep the shape and it is difficult for me to get in the box, but every time I can and I score I will be happy.
“The FA Cup is always big. If we can pick up this trophy it will be very good for us and the manager stressed how important this competition is, but we still want to keep doing well in the Premier League and the Champions League of course.
“We have always had this winning mentality at Chelsea. This manager installed it into this team and now he is back and he has installed it into the new players.
“There have been a lot of games in the last month and I think we did pretty well. We just want to keep building and now we are starting to know what the manager wants from us. It is starting to pay off and hopefully at the end of the season we will be smiling.”
Mikel revealed that in the dressing room Mourinho had emphasised the importance of scoring the opener, stressing how tough the game would become if the home side netted first, but also how they would open up if Chelsea found the target.
“We knew how difficult it would be to beat Derby,” Mikel said. “In the last nine games they had lost just once and we didn’t want a replay.
“We started the game well, the first 10 to 15 minutes we moved the ball very well and we were on top of them, we pressed them high but then we gave them a little bit of space and they showed us they can play, but we came back to put more pressure on them.
“We had possession and the defence was fantastic. We played as a team and that is what the manager wants us to do. In the middle of the park I have to win my challenges and make sure I impose myself against my opponents and if I am able to do that and help the team win then I am very happy.”