Premier League

Scolari exit saddens Mikel

Chelsea midfielder surprised by sacking

Mikel: Praise for Scolari

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John Obi Mikel has admitted he was disappointed to hear of Luiz Felipe Scolari's departure from Chelsea.

The Brazilian only took charge at Stamford Bridge last summer but he paid the price for a disappointing run of results when he was sacked on Monday afternoon.

Mikel believes Scolari was unlucky to lose his job and has paid tribute to the experienced coach.

"I did not know anything about it. I was a little bit (surprised)," the Nigerian midfielder told Sky Sports News.

"We were on a bad run but you cannot really say it was the fault of one person or another person.

"It is the fault of everybody but now unfortunately he has gone and the club feel that is the best thing.

"I am disappointed. He was a great manager, a nice person and a father figure at the club."

Great manager

Mikel also dismissed suggestions that a number of Chelsea players were not happy with Scolari's methods.

He said: "Everyone has their own style of coaching, the same way as every player has their own way of doing things.

"Unfortunately it didn't work for Chelsea but I think he is a great manager. I am sad to see him go.

"The club has made a decision and they stick by it."

Mikel accepts that Chelsea found it hard to play the type of football Scolari craved, especially at home where they were regularly frustrated by stubborn opponents.

"He wanted us to play fluent football and he wanted us to pass the ball around quicker," said Mikel.

"We did that in some games but in other games we found it difficult because the other clubs in the Premier League know how we play and, when we were at home, they came to defend.

Not over yet

"Our home record has been very bad but it is not over yet."

Mikel does not believe Chelsea should be written off in the Premier League title race, while they are still alive in the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League.

The 21-year-old hopes Chelsea appoint a replacement for Scolari quickly, with Guus Hiddink already in talks about combining his work as Russia coach with the role at Stamford Bridge.

Asked for his thoughts on Hiddink, Mikel said: "It is not up to me. The management know who is best for the job and whoever comes in I will try to help the team.

"This season has been difficult and the new manager knows we have to win games.

"We are still in the FA Cup, we are still in the Champions League and there is a long way to go in the Premier League but we can't drop any more points at home or even away."