Super Eagles captain John Obi Mikel is eager to help instill a winning mentality in his new Championship side, Middlesbrough, Completesports.com reports.
Mikel made his debut for Boro in Saturday’s FA Cup 1-1 draw with Newport County playing in the anchor role deep in midfield and he looked neat and tidy in possession.
And having won just about everything; the Premier League, the Champions League, the Europa League, the FA Cup, the League Cup with Chelsea, the Africa Cup of Nations title and an Olympic football bronze medal Olympics with Nigeria, Mikel says losing was not an option at Middlesbrough.
“Being a winner, I have won trophies all of my life,” Mikel told British tabloid, Gazette Live.
“I know how it feels to be a winner and to win trophies. I want to win and I want to instill that in this dressing room.
“Sometimes you need to make sure the lads know that losing is not an option. We had that mentality at Chelsea. Losing is not an option.”
“You have to win and if I can help the guys understand that then great.
“That is part of what the manager wants from me. The manager wants to be just here, I have done it all, achieved a lot.
“He wants me to help the team tick over when I am around and out there.
“I want everyone to be together, encourage everyone and lead by example. That’s what I am to do here.”
The 31-year-old, also hints he is open to extending his short-term deal if things go well with him and the club.
“I have until the end of the season here and we will see what happens,” Mikel said.
“It is my aim, my goal, as is the dressing room, to get promoted to the Premier League.”
“I need to do that with this club and then at the end of the season we will see.
“If not then I’d still be happy to be here, but you never know, so we will see what happens.
“I have seen a few Middlesbrough games. And I have my memories of Middlesbrough. I remember coming here and losing 2-0 or 3-0 (under Mourinho).
“It is a great club. It is a Premier League club. They should be in the Premier League. Hopefully, we can achieve that.”
He assures he will be fine playing anywhere the manager wants him to slot in as regards a tactical tweak and vows to improve with more matches..
“I can play the holding role, as one of two in the middle, whatever position he wants me to play. I have to get fit and see what happens,” Mikel assures.
“When you come to a club, there are a few things the manager might want to change, maybe to keep the ball a bit more.
“This is something we will look into and hopefully, we can improve as a team.
“I tried my best after not playing for a few months and the reception was nice so for me, it was a good day but not a good result.
“This was a decent debut for me, the guys rallied behind me and helped me out in my condition.
“I felt good, I felt fit – but playing games is needed. That is the only way to really get up to speed.
“Hopefully I can give more soon. You don’t want to stop. You want to improve every day. We will see in the future.”11 BUSINESS NUGGETS FROM SUPER EAGLES BRONZE MEDAL TRIUMPH. The content of this ebook will propel you above your competition. Buy NOW!!!