Chelsea has had a completely disappointing season so far but recent results will give them plenty of hope going into the next season.
When Jose Mourinho was sacked in December, pundits and fans of the Premier League thought that Chelsea just let go of the only manager who could get the team out of the hole they were in at that time.
But ever since Guus Hiddink took over the London franchise he has worked wonders and the team is yet to lose a game under him.
So it is beyond doubt that the players were just not comfortable with the Portuguese just months after lifting the Premier League trophy under him.
Now, with the team hitting some form, players are taking a dig at the old manager as Mikel joined in Fabregas and Costa in launching jibes at the Portuguese manager.
The midfielder who seems to have found lost confidence under the new manager has come out and said that the players have felt more relaxed under the new manager from day one and that the Dutchman ‘doesn’t get into people’s business’.
The atmosphere at the Bridge has completely changed in the last month and a half and Mikel explained that every player now feels respected in the squad.
On the eve of the 5-1 thrashing over Manchester City in the FA Cup, Mikel exclaimed that the majority of the Chelsea team members would like Hiddink to continue as the manager next season.
Chelsea only appointed the Dutchman on an interim basis and have already looked at alternatives for him in the likes of Diego Simeone and Allegri.
‘From day one, since Guus has come in, the atmosphere has changed,’ the 29-year-old said.
“‘The players feel more relaxed, people know what their jobs are and people are getting on with their jobs in a more relaxed way. And a way they can perform very well. “
Mikel was completely out of favor under Mourinho with Matic and Fabregas as the preferred mid-field partnership but he has fought his way back and is now one of the first names on the team sheet under Guus Hiddink.
‘He has given responsibility to people and expects them to thrive on it and make sure they do it in way where they feel comfortable. I think that is what the players are showing now.”
‘We all know what he wants and it is the same when we go into a game.’
Mourinho had his share of antics at the club in his last few weeks. He publicly criticized that players for betraying him an got into a fractious relationship with striker Diego Costa who launched a bib at him for dropping him in a London derby.
The Spanish international has stuck 9 goals in 12 games in stark contrast to 3 in 24 under Jose Mourinho emphasizing the fact that the manager just burned all his bridges with the club.
Guus Hiddink has done extremely well since taking over Chelsea with 6 wins and 6 draws and the club is still alive in the FA Cup and the Champions League.
Mikel explained that the players genuinely feel that the Dutchman can bring glory days back to the club and insisted that his team are happy with the manager to stay beyond his short-term contract.
‘I want him to stay,’ he said. ‘It is the choice of the owner, the club and the board. “
They will have to decide. But if you speak to the players, 98 or 99 per cent of them want him to stay so I mean, we are very happy, we are performing well and let’s hope this continues.”
Chelsea will face Southampton away from home in their next fixture this weekend.