John Obi Mikel has declared that he would love to see interim Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink take up his current role in a permanent capacity.
The Nigerian midfielder has enjoyed more playing time since Hiddink arrived at Stamford Bridge in December 2015, and claims that the majority of his Chelsea teammates will root for the Dutchman to remain as manager of the club.
Mikel’s comment that Hiddink has brought “a comfortable atmosphere” at the club has been perceived by the English media as a dig at former Chelsea manager Mourinho.
“I want him to stay but it’s the choice of the owner and the club but if you speak to the players, 98-99 per cent of them want him to stay. We’re very happy, performing well and long may it continue.
“It depends on the board and Guus, if he wants to continue. I think he’s said he’s here until the end of the season and said that a few times.
“You never know, he might change his mind and if the club wants to appoint him, fair enough but his record speaks very highly of him.
“I’ve never seen him get angry. When he gets upset he tries to clear the air straight away.
“He lets you know what you’ve done is wrong and the club is bigger than anyone. He doesn’t hold grudges.
“He treats us like professional footballers. I’ve always said from day one since Guus came in that the atmosphere has changed. The players feel more relaxed.
“People know what their job is and they get on with their job in a more relaxed way and in a way they can get on very well and make sure you do it in a way you feel more comfortable.
“The training ground is more relaxed. He gets on with his own and players feel very comfortable, they know what to do.
“He doesn’t need to speak and we all know what he wants. On the pitch, we know what he demands from us,” said Mikel.
Mikel, who has enjoyed a superb working relationship with the Dutchman from his previous spell in 2009, has made 20 appearances with 11 of those under Hiddink’s tenure and scored once this season in the 1-2 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the Uefa Champions League.