Mikel says atmosphere at Chelsea better after Mourinho’s departure

Mikel Obi

Super Eagles midfielder, John Obi Mikel, has again taken a swipe at former Chelsea coach, Jose Mourinho, revealing “the atmosphere has changed” since the Portuguese left Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho was sacked by the Blues in December after an abysmal run in the league with Dutchman, Guus Hiddink, installed on an interim basis.

And Mikel, who has found a new lease of life under the former Russia boss, disclosed that the team is more relaxed now and does its duties without stress.

He made a similar statement in December shortly after Mourinho’s sack.

“From day one, since Guus has come in, the atmosphere has changed,” Mikel opined after Chelsea’s 5-1 thrashing of Manchester City in the FA Cup on Sunday.

“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 in 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.”

The 28-year-old Nigerian, who has only lost once in two separate spells under the Dutch tactical genius, believes players are in a good mood and now play with ease citing Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas as an instance.

“You can see Diego. It takes a lot to get Diego in a good mood,” he added.

“It is fantastic to see Cesc playing well again. What an intelligent player.

“He is not the quickest but being, I wouldn’t say slow … but the way he plays, his intelligence is amazing.

“In training you think you will get the ball off him but because you are there, he knows what to do. As long as we can help him, to do the dirty work and get him on the ball, we have good chances. He is happy again as well.”

While Hiddink said he will not be at the club after this season, suggesting on Friday that his replacement will have a difficult rebuilding job, the former Lyn Oslo star would “definitely” like to see the 69-year-old given the job permanently.

“Obviously, definitely I want him to stay. 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% 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.