John Obi Mikel confident Chelsea will avoid winter blues this season by beating Manchester United
Friday 26 October 2012
John Obi Mikel is confident Chelsea can avoid yet another case of the winter blues by beating Manchester United in Sunday's top-of-the-table Barclays Premier League showdown.
The European champions go into this weekend's game having suffered their first major setback of the season in Tuesday's Champions League game at Shakhtar Donetsk.
The 2-1 defeat came at the time of year when Chelsea have suffered a slump in three of the past four seasons that have ultimately cost them in the title race.
Defeat on Sunday would raise the spectre of a repeat, but a victory would help banish those demons for a side that have already made their second-best start ever to a Premier League campaign with 22 points from 24.
Midfielder Mikel said: "All of us know what has happened in recent seasons, so we have to make sure that this defeat doesn't make that happen again.
"We have to make sure we correct it very quickly and that starts with the next game against United.
"They will be very dangerous as usual and, if we defend the way we did [against Shakhtar], it's going to be difficult for us.
"We have to defend as a unit, play together as a unit. As long as we do that on Sunday, we'll have a very good chance."
With John Terry banned and the results of Frank Lampard's calf scan expected to be revealed today, Mikel could be one of Chelsea's outfield players on Sunday with the most experience of fixtures against United.
The 25-year-old controversially snubbed a move to Old Trafford to join the Blues from Lyn in 2005, leading to a bitter legal dispute.
But Mikel said of facing United once again: "There's no extra edge for me.
"I've got over it and I think they have got over it as well.
"It's just a normal game for me. It's going to be a great game. We have to pick ourselves up. It's going to be difficult but we have to do that."
Branislav Ivanovic has become another veteran of encounters with United and admitted there was plenty of work to do following Chelsea's midweek display in Donetsk.
"We have to analyse it well and see where we made the mistakes," he said.
"These things are down to concentration and preparing for the game. We have to start well and be focused for the whole 90 minutes.
"This is the change of the team. We defend as a team and we attack as a team.
"We have to stay together and be more compact in this type of game. That makes it easier for your team-mates.
"Of course, a result like that has an effect on morale but this is one of the most crucial games of the season.
"We've had two difficult games, at Spurs and Shakhtar and now we have to recover and prepare well for Sunday."
Latest in Sport
Royal Rumble 2015: Roman Reigns triumphs after The Rock returns to set-up Wrestlemania showdown with Brock Lesnar
What time is the 2015 WWE Royal Rumble on? TV details and full card
Brighton 2 Arsenal 3 player ratings: Did Tomas Rosicky's performance and goal make him man of the match at Amex Stadium?
Liverpool transfer news and rumours: Glen Johnson to stay; Fabian Delph move goes up in flames; Marc-Andre Ter Stegen for loan deal
Brighton vs Arsenal match report: Tomas Rosicky inspirational as Gunners avoid scare
- 1 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 This crazy skiing video will leave you feeling queasy
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party