Boss Mourinho hails Chelsea ‘anchorman’

Jose Mourinho says he has never doubted John Mikel Obi’s importance to Chelsea.

The no-nonsense midfielder has had his share of critics since being signed in 2006 during Mourinho’s first spell as Blues boss.

But he has had a key role in recent seasons and marked his 300th appearance for the club by scoring a rare goal in Sunday’s FA Cup third-round victory at Derby.

And Mourinho declared: “I recognise his ability to play as an anchorman and play in that position in a very comfortable way.

“He always reads the game very well and plays in an intelligent and safe way.”

Mikel’s second-half header from Willian’s free-kick was only his fourth Chelsea goal, with three of them coming in the FA Cup.

It gave them an all-important breakthrough at Pride Park, where they had been enduring a frustrating afternoon in front of goal.

Mourinho admitted: “It was important for us because we were playing and creating but the goal wasn’t coming. For us it was like the winning goal.”

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