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Mikel: Top-four finish a must

John Obi Mikel is desperate to help Chelsea back into the UEFA Champions League and avoid further 'Thursday football'.

Last Updated: 08/04/13 at 18:28 Post Comment

John Obi Mikel: Eager to avoid Europa League football in 2013/14

John Obi Mikel: Eager to avoid Europa League football in 2013/14

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Hard work has been made of the qualification process in recent times, with the Blues having to lift the trophy in 2011/12 to make sure of their continued involvement in Europe's premier club competition.

They suffered an early exit at the group stage this term - becoming the first defending champions to crash out at that stage - and have had to console themselves with a place in the Europa League.

Mikel admits things are not the same, and the Nigeria international is determined to ensure that Chelsea end the season on a high and inside the Premier League's top four.

When asked if he was missing the Champions League, he told the Evening Standard: "Yes, of course. No disrespect to the Europa League but when you saw the game on Thursday, it was not [the same].

"You get that buzz when you hear the song of the Champions League, it's different. I don't know [what the Europa League song is].

"We want to be involved in the Champions League again next season. We've been used to it, those kind of special nights, and we want to get it back.

"I think for us and the fans, Champions League football [is the No.1 target]. It's what this club have always been involved in and as players it's what we want to achieve.

"It's been frustrating to watch [the Champions League games] and see them [teams like Barcelona] play, while we have to play on Thursday nights.

"I have been here several years and never played football on Thursday nights. So, hopefully, next season we are not going to be in it.

"We want to be in the top four, top three, whatever, we want to be in the Champions League next season."

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Readers' Comments

S

terling needs to be told though that upon entering the Arsenal squad he will re-enact the final scene from Highlander where he will be thrown around a warehouse by cartoon dragons and then be a mere mortal that will only ever spend three to four weeks a season playing football and the rest on the physio's bed. There can be only one.....player available at The Emirates.

rodger's gusset
Arsenal interest in Sterling

T

he game changed in our favour when Carrick came on. We were able to play further up the pitch due to having a player who can give and go with the ball and keep possession. Yet barkley made some runs and Townsend scored a good goal but carrick's inclusion and chiellini's withdrawal made the biggest difference to the flow of the game

ricky villa
Hodgson: Barkley was brilliant

N

o, you've not silenced anyone Andros, i'm afraid. We know you can score a great goal, and it's really handy to have your direct running and willingness to shoot on the bench. But until you can do the other things expected of a winger (beat the man, put a decent cross in, stay wide etc) then you can't expect more than a regular cameo. Wonderful goal though, what a hit! No wonder Buffon wanted the shirt.

badwolf
Townsend: I've silenced critics

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