Giving opinions to the media after a match has no novelty value for someone who has played 282 games for Chelsea, but to speak having scored a goal was a moment John Mikel Obi has waited for a long time.
It wasn’t a winner but his agile hook past Fulham keeper David Stockdale was the reassurance the Blues needed late on in Saturday’s game, as we returned to winning ways after two defeats and made three home victories out of three in the Barclays Premier League.
It was Mikel’s first Chelsea goal since Jose Mourinho was last in charge at Stamford Bridge.
‘This game was all about winning and we got the three points, and my goal was just a bonus,’ said the 26-year-old.
‘But I am pretty happy about it. It has been a long time and the guys have been killing me about it. They say you go to the national team and score but you don’t score for Chelsea so it was good for me to get my first Premier League goal. I scored in the FA Cup a couple of times.
‘I do practice scoring in training sometimes but I don’t get into the positions often. Gone are the days when I go onto the pitch thinking it might be me today, for me it is about the team.’
Mikel believed his side had a good claim for a penalty for a foul on his midfield colleague Ramires that could have extended the lead prior to his strike, and after Fulham provided solid resistance early in the game, he saw merit in the way Chelsea came out on top meaning our neighbours’ 49-year quest for a top-flight win at the Bridge continues.
‘Fulham made it very hard for us, they sat back, were very compact through the middle and tried to counter-attack, and we couldn’t pass the ball like we wanted to, but once we scored the first goal it became a bit more open,’ said Mikel.
‘There was commitment from the guys and we fought hard for this win.
‘We wanted to put ourselves back on a winning run and we know we have the players to do it, it is just about performing, and we managed to do that.
‘Our fans have been disappointed about a few performances coming into this game so we wanted to give them something.
‘The manager was very disappointed with us as well, the way we played the last game against Basel.
‘We were feeling a bit of pressure but if you look at this team, we have big players and a big squad and it is not all about playing when it is rosy, it is also about playing when people are not happy and you have to go out there and show character, and I think we did that in this game.’
– A clip of John Mikel Obi talking to Chelsea TV after the game can be viewed above. The full interview is available now via the channel’s online access.