Nigeria International John Obi Mikel has been given a clearer view of how he can get playing time with Chelsea by current boss Guus Hiddink.
Hiddink in an interview on the Chelsea official website hinted that he is willing to give all the players a chance but his choices will largely be influenced by tactics adopted and the kind of opposition that he is facing per time.
In the midfield role where Mikel features, Hiddink said he has other options like Cesc Fabregas.
‘He [ Fabregas] can play in the no.10 position and he has also played a lot of games just in front of the defence, but he is smart with his passes in the final third so he can play either position. There is no preferred role for him but it depends also on the strengths of the opponent in midfield whether we can play an attacking-orientated or a more defensive-orientated player in midfield. It is not just one fixed team. The Dutch boss explained
He continued: ‘We try to get the players in the best shape like they were last year and with the multitude of games that are coming up, we need everyone and everyone needs to be in top shape.
‘We help them by giving them rest or more intensity in training, but there are sometimes games that tactically we have a preference for a different balance defensively or offensively. For me it is not a team of one goalie and 10 outfield players. We have to have other good players and when they are needed we will put them in the line-up. One time it is Mikel, one time it is Cesc or others. That depends on the tactics and especially on the midfield strengths of the opposition.
‘I don’t want to focus on just one player who might need a bit more strength or whatever to get back in shape. Hiddink concluded.