John Obi Mikel has issued a glowing tribute to interim Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink, while also sticking the boot in on former boss Jose Mourinho.
Mikel has flourished under Hiddink’s management, starting almost every game since the appointment and performing excellently in central midfield. Under Mourinho, he was frozen out of the first-team picture.
“From day one, since Guus has come in, the atmosphere has changed,” Mikel said.
“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 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.
“When you come into the training ground, the players are more relaxed, he doesn’t get into people’s business, he gets on with his own thing and players feel very comfortable and know exactly what to do so when he gets on the training pitch, he doesn’t need to speak.
“We all know what he wants and it is the same when we go into a game.”
Mikel also said that the vast majority of Chelsea players would prefer Hiddink to stay on as manager beyond the end of this season. Hiddink has previously stated his intention to leave in the summer.
“We 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 per cent 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.”