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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

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

C

lassic management. Build them up and then knock them back. Raise expectations and then dampen them. Create a dynamic where by you demand the most from your team, but where the team are given room to manoeuvre unexpected or unwanted results. Classy work by Van Gaal, he really reminds me a lot of me. A smart cookie, make no doubt.

hump3.
Van Gaal: 'I struggle for first three months'

H

e will be the England left back for ten years or more, and then you will have to thank MUFC for that. *smiles*

london saint
Shaw: Criticism spot on

P

urely because of that little diva moment he had last night, I don't want him coming to my club. DESTROYED ? Grow up and give something back to the club that helped put you up there on the world stage.

bale doubt
Saints' Schneiderlin stalemate

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