Mikel hoping to cement his place

Mikel’s return to the starting XI has co-incided with the Blues’

remarkable end-of-season surge that has seen them close to within

three points of Manchester United with three games remaining. The

24-year-old has divided the critics since moving to Stamford Bridge

almost six years ago, which followed a bitter wrangle with United

for his services. He appeared to come of age last season when

Chelsea won the Double for the first time in their history but,

after starting this term in the side, found himself out of the team

in the midst of the club’s worst run in the league for almost 15

years. His return has seen the Blues win their last five league

games and he was able to celebrate his 200th appearance for the

club in Saturday’s 2-1 win over Tottenham. He now looks certain to

start again at Old Trafford this weekend and told his club’s

official website: “I had a good run from the start of the season

until about January and then I wasn’t playing so much. “Now I have

started playing again and I just want to keep playing as much as I

can and help the team win games and trophies and this is my aim and

this is why I am in this club.” He added: “I just want to help this

team win trophies, that is my aim and as long as I am playing and

this team is winning games and trophies then I am happy.” Mikel

produced arguably one of his best performances of the season on

Saturday. He said: “When you play teams like Tottenham, Arsenal or

Manchester, these teams can hurt you in counter-attack and this is

one thing the manager and the defenders behind me asked me to do in

this game.”