John Mikel Obi paid tribute to the team effort that ensured Chelsea recovered from a perilous position against Manchester United, to keep the defence of the FA Cup alive.
The midfielder, a four-times winner of the competition, was involved in one of two substitutions made after 52 minutes of Sunday’s 2-2 draw at Old Trafford, the Blues trailing 2-0 at the time.
Goals from Eden Hazard, who was introduced at the same time as Mikel, and Ramires subsequently earned a replay but Mikel played down his individual impact on what was a thrilling second half.
‘The guys who were there before, Frank [Lampard] and Victor [Moses], they were doing very well as well and it is never easy to play against Manchester United at Old Trafford. It was just maybe the moment the game could change for us, and when we came on it just did, so credit to the team.
‘After the first half we went back to the dressing room and had a chat, and we went out for the second half and started to show a bit more character, a bit more belief that we could actually come back into this game.’
Mikel hopes what was a heartening second-half display against quality opposition can give the season increased impetus, as the squad continues to contest a long fixture list across three competitions.
‘Now is becoming a crucial time in the season when we have to start putting on good performances and this FA Cup tie is not yet done. You never write off Man United at any time and we have to go back to London and make sure we put this tie away.’
There will be more from John Mikel Obi during Chelsea TV’s ‘Weekend Review’ tonight at 6.30pm and 10pm.