John Mikel Obi believes his experience of winning football’s biggest prizes will help him transform the fortunes of new club Stoke City in the 2019-20 season.
The 33-year-old former Super Eagles captain marked a return to English football when he joined the Championship side on a one-year deal on Monday.
Stoke finished way below the promotion and playoff spots in 15th place last season and Mikel who have experience in the second-tier having spent a brief spell with Middlesbrough in 2019, believes it will be his responsibility to “bring that winning mentality” that gets the club back to contending for the biggest prizes once again.
The midfielder enjoyed a successful 11-year spell at Chelsea where he made 249 Premier League appearances and won the Champions League, Europa League, two Premier Leagues, three FA Cups and the League Cup during his time with the London club.
And speaking to the Potters media channel after his unveiling, Mikel acknowledged that his stature in the game and his history means his new teammates will look up to him for guidance and direction on and off the pitch.
And it is a responsibility that the former Tainjin TEDA player relishes.
“It’s good when you come into a football club having won so much in the game, the players can look up to you and say ‘I want to listen to this player’,” Mikel said.
“So it now comes down to me to know what kind of advice I’ll give to the players during the game, during training, outside the pitch not just on the pitch and how can I help them during difficult times?
“I’m really looking forward to that and hopefully, I can bring that winning mentality to this team. There is always a way to win a game and we need to find that way win win win.
” That mentality needs to come into the team. It’s all about winning week in, week out, that’s something I did all my life at Chelsea. If I can bring that experience and winning mentality I’ll be very happy.”