Mikel eyes first-team inclusion


John Obi Mikel admits he is frustrated to find himself on the fringes of the Chelsea first-team, but realises that the club's search for collective team success is more important than personal gain.

The 24-year-old midfielder is the latest Blues star to have been overlooked by Portuguese tactician Andre Villas-Boas, following the likes of Frank Lampard and Fernando Torres, who have also been forced to settle for a place on the bench in recent weeks.

"It has been hard, but the most important thing is that the team keep doing well," confirmed Mikel. "As much as I want to play, the team come first."

Mikel has lost his holding midfield place in the Chelsea side to summer signing Oriol Romeu following the club's 2-1 loss to Liverpool at Stamford Bridge.

The former Barcelona man was Villas-Boas' first signing as Blues boss, and is highly regarded by everyone in west London. Romeu has impressed when called into the first-team as he looks to cement his place in the starting line-up.

"If the team keep winning, then I shouldn't complain," Mikel continued. "Any time I am called upon, I just want to help the team win."

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