Mikel ready to kick on

Midfielder believes hard work is paying off

Mikel: Worked hard after injury

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John Obi Mikel insists he is prepared to keep putting the hours in on the training pitch to help Chelsea to success.

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The Blues have started their Premier League title defence in sensational fashion, recording successive 6-0 routs over West Brom and Wigan and next up is Stoke at Stamford Bridge - who were hammered 7-0 there in April.

Mikel, who has been a fixture in the starting XI after recovering from a knee injury that forced him to miss Nigeria's World Cup campaign, feels his hard work behind the scenes is paying off.

"Towards the end of last season before I was injured I was in good shape and playing almost every week. Then I got injured, had surgery and did my rehab," the midfielder told the club's official website.

Work

"I just put my head down and knew I had to work twice as hard as the other players to get myself ready for the start of the season.

"I feel like it is paying off and I don't want to stop, I want to keep going and working hard in training.

"If you speak to the guys they will tell you I work as hard as anyone else on the training pitch, maybe harder and I just want to keep going like this."

Chelsea will be expected to put Stoke to the sword again on Saturday, with confidence flowing in the dressing room.

Mikel added: "We all have a good understanding at the moment, they all know when to go and when to come in. I think it's pretty much working out as we want it to all the time.

"We know we are not going to score six every game, if you manage one and get three points it is all we need, but at the moment it is enjoyable to be a part of it and playing, and I hope it keeps going like this."