Next Game

Vitesse A v Chelsea

Wednesday, 30 July 2014, 18:30

Friendly Match

Worthersee Stadion

Last Game

RZ Pellets WAC 1 - 1 Chelsea

Wednesday, 23 July 2014, 18:30

Friendly Match

Mikel buoyed by Blues fightback

John Obi Mikel hopes the second-half fight back at Manchester United will lead to Chelsea finishing the season on a high.

Last Updated: 11/03/13 at 15:46 Post Comment

John Obi Mikel: Hoping to get back on track after FA Cup draw

John Obi Mikel: Hoping to get back on track after FA Cup draw

John Obi Mikel hopes the second-half fight back at Manchester United will prove the catalyst for Chelsea to finish a tumultuous season on a high.

The holders appeared likely to exit the FA Cup after going 2-0 down 11 minutes into the quarter-final at Old Trafford and many wondered if Rafael Benitez's spell in interim charge would come to a premature end as a result of a heavy defeat to an old rival.

But Chelsea responded with second-half goals from substitute Eden Hazard and Ramires to force a replay, while Mikel too was influential after coming off the bench.

"Let's hope this game will put us back on a good track and we keep going on from here to end the season very well," Mikel said.

"This result has come at a crucial time where we just have to start putting on good performances but the tie is not yet done.

"You can never write off Manchester United at any time. At Stamford Bridge we have to make sure we put this tie away."

During a topsy-turvy season, Chelsea have had moments where they thought they were over the worst, only to continue to stumble on.

Mikel saw glimpses of Chelsea's best at Old Trafford as the Blues bid to secure Champions League qualification and continue their pursuit of silverware in the FA Cup and Europa League.

"I hope we can keep this character and momentum going, but sometimes it's quite difficult when the season is going like this," he added.

"If you look at the team from last year, we liked to play, to attack, to move forward.

"We liked to have the ball, beat people and create chances and that's exactly what we did in the second half at United."

At Old Trafford, as he has been at Stamford Bridge since his November appointment, Benitez was the subject of torrents of vitriol due to his prior association with Liverpool.

Following the fifth-round win at Middlesbrough, the Spaniard urged the Blues support to turn their focus to backing the team, as he will leave at the end of the season.

Mikel repeated the call for a united front.

"Sometimes it doesn't help when the fans are not happy," the Nigeria midfielder added.

"I have been here for seven years and they [the supporters] are fantastic and have always supported us until the end. I hope that continues throughout the season.

"This is when we need them the most. Let's hope we can all go through the rest of the season together.

"Chelsea fans have always been great and I know they will continue to be great with the players."

Chelsea's attentions now turn to Thursday's Europa League last-16 second leg with Steaua Bucharest, with the Blues seeking to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit.

The FA Cup replay means the Blues will play a minimum of 64 matches this term, but the finale could be more congested with progress in the knockout competitions.

Right-back Cesar Azpilicueta told Chelsea TV: "We need to do the last effort.

"We have two months in front of us to win trophies. We need to stick together and hopefully we will win."

Azpilicueta is confident of a replay success over Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

He said. "We were controlling this game. We play at Stamford Bridge with our supporters. We have this feeling that we can win."

Chelsea's end-of-season bid was strengthened elsewhere on Sunday when Tottenham lost at Liverpool.

It means the fourth-placed Blues, who have a game in-hand over Spurs, are two points behind their London rivals as they seek Champions League football next term.

Benitez hopes to see the characteristics his side demonstrated at Old Trafford in the remainder of the season in order to fulfil his brief.

"It's really important for the group, as a group," Benitez told Chelsea TV.

"You could see everybody working so hard, passion the commitment and also the quality. Hopefully it will be good for the rest of the season.

"If we see the character that we saw, we have a chance."


Click here for completely free £10 bet with Sky Bet & £5 free every week


Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e'll be off to Spurs (or better) in January and I don't blame him. Looking forward to re-signing Grant Holt as his replacement though.

notalentjones
Benteke ignoring speculation

I

n fairness, he does look absolutely shattered in that photo.....

FairyNuff
Shaw told to shape up

Y

ou cant expect to get a fully fit player for only £30 million these days, what's the problem?

juddlinskatron
Shaw told to shape up

Footer 365

Scottish football: John Collins claims Celtic will have to be at their very best to get by Legia Warsaw

John Collins says Legia Warsaw pose a huge threat to his dream of Champions League football with Celtic this season.

Premier League: Daniel Sturridge confident Liverpool can shine without Luis Suarez

Daniel Sturridge believes Liverpool have the squad to handle Luis Suarez's exit and will challenge for top honours.

Transfer news: Simon Mignolet backs Liverpool target Divock Origi and welcomes Pepe Reina return

Liverpool are closing in on Divock Origi and the Belgium youngster has been tipped to shine in the Premier League.

Mail Box

No Wonder Wenger Doesn't Buy British

That's if reports that Calum Chambers cost Arsenal £16m are to be believed. The English premium shows no signs of disappearing. Plus, worrying about poor Southampton...

Reasons To Believe That Van Gaal Will Be The Best

Some supporters sound oh so confident on Louis Van Gaal's excellence. Plus thoughts on shirt sales, best signings, football sevens and a good deal more besides...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property