John Obi Mikel believes new Chelsea boss Antonio Conte has made a huge impact in the dressing room since his arrival and that he is ready bring back the glory days to Stamford Bridge.
The Nigeria international has yet to make an appearance for Conte after playing, and achieving his country’s only medal, at the Rio 2016 Olympics, but he can see the Italian’s influence already taking hold at Chelsea’s training ground.
Conte has become Mikel’s 13th manager since joining Chelsea in 2006, and he is confident that the former Juventus and Italy coach is good enough to bring back success after a poor campaign last season.
“I can only see Chelsea winning trophies with this guy and hopefully we can achieve that.” Mikel told Goal.
“The manager knows what he wants, we are behind him, we support him as players and we have to go with him, so I think that everyone is looking forward to this season.
“It is going to be a very interesting season with the likes of Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool, Everton, everyone has spent a lot of money and it is going to be very difficult. We want to be, at the end of the season, on the top and, if we can win it, why not [go for it].
Chelsea face Premier League champions Leicester City, who last season took the Blues’s title, on Saturday, while they recorded the worst title defence in Premier League history by finishing tenth.
However, Mikel thinks that Conte’s passion is having a positive effect on turning around their bad form and lack of belief from last season.
“Yes, [Conte shouts a lot] in training,” Mikel added.
“In games I don’t even need to say, you can see how passionate he is and how passionate he is about winning, it is just the passion he has for the game and the way he thinks that he can get his message across to the players on the pitch.
“Sometimes the manager needs to communicate with the players even when they are on the pitch, to do what he needs them to do. I have never seen anyone that passionate, but yes, he is very, very passionate about winning games.”