How many times can you say the same thing differently? When it comes to Chelsea players supporting their manager, apparently not too many. Just about everything Mikel says should sound quite familiar by this point.
"Last year we were champions, we won two trophies. Jose knows this club more than any other manager. I think he's the most successful manager in the club's history. I definitely think that if anything is wrong, if anything can be fixed, he is the one. There's nobody out there that is going to come in and fix what's going on."
"If we were not giving 100 per cent, then there is the doubt, but we are giving 100 per cent, we are playing for the manager, we are right behind him."
(Oh boy, I'd hate to see NOT 100 per cent, given some of our recent performances. That said, the Liverpool match was mostly fine outside of those 30 seconds at the end of the first half, after Benteke's (offside?) goal, and Eden Hazard, in general.)
"Our performances show that we are right behind him. It's just that right now things aren't going well. Everyone [from the outside] wants him to go, but I don't think it's the right way to go. I think that inside that dressing room we definitely believe he is the man to change things. He knows this club in and out. He knows what's wrong and it's just a matter of time before results start coming."
Mikel, who was signed during Mourinho Mk.I right out from underneath Manchester United's noses goes even a step further at this point, and says that Mourinho is even better now than he was back then.
"I think he's technically and tactically better, that's why he came back and in the second season we won the Premier League again. I know this club demands to win and win and win and win, but it's just a difficult period we are going through right now. He is the man."
"He deserves a chance. The fans are still behind him. The players are definitely behind him. I think we will turn things around, it's just a matter of time."
While that may be laying it on a bit too thick — results certainly don't quite match that notion — there's no doubt that Mikel's fully bought into what Mourinho's selling. Which, I should add, is great and it's what we need from all players.
"A few minutes before, the ref gave me a yellow card for my first foul and then just after that Lucas committed a foul on Ramires. For me, it should have been a yellow card. Everyone can see how much hard work we are putting in, but it's just that the results are not coming for us. Every shot at goal is a goal against us. We just need a bit of that luck, which we don't have at the minute."
Mikel started back-to-back games for the first time since January. Unfortunately, he did not prove to be the magic elixir to turn our season around, at least not yet. But with Nemanja Matic continuing to struggle, Ol' Faithful Mikel at least keeps sticking to his task and doing the job we know he can do.