Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel thinks he has finally adapted to the pace of the Premier League.
The 22-year-old Nigeria international moved to Stamford Bridge in 2006 but his early seasons in West London were blighted by a large number of bookings and sendings off.
His first term with the Blues saw Mikel pick up eight yellow cards and two reds, adding one yellow to that tally in the next campaign again alongside two reds - and although he was not sent off last season, he was booked 10 times.
However, in the current campaign the combative midfielder has only been yellow carded twice so far, and he believes the improvement in his discipline shows how well he has adapted to the English game.
"English football is always something crazy and, when you come into the
Premier League, you must adapt to it somehow," he said.
"I guess the timing of those tackles was the area I had to improve and I think I've dealt really well with it.
"I think it was the hunger I had for the games, the enthusiasm, that meant I did not know how to restrict myself from going into tackles at the wrong moment.
"It took me a bit of time to get used to things but now it has been two years with no red cards and I hope I can continue like that.
"I always try to keep my aggression but not get booked. But when you play in the position I play, sometimes you have to commit because the team will be in danger if you don't."
Mikel put in an impressive display in Chelsea's 4-1 win over Cardiff on Saturday and, having played in the 2007 and 2009 FA Cup finals, hopes to make it a hat-trick of wins in the competition.
"I want to do well because I always want to win," he added. "But maybe the final feels a bit more special and a good performance there shows people how much you want to win the trophy.
"The game is the really special part of the day if you get to the FA Cup final.
"That's what leads you to winning the trophy and everything else comes from that - the build-up and the celebrations just make it more special.
"I think playing the FA Cup, whatever round you are in, always feels very special."