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Mikel - I Felt The Pressure

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John Obi Mikel has blamed the weight of expectation for Nigeria's exit from the Africa Cup of Nations.

The Super Eagles scraped through their qualifying group to set up a quarter-final tie against hosts Ghana.

But Nigeria failed to progress to the final four, losing 2-1 and making this year's Africa Cup of Nations their worst display for 25 years.

Chelsea midfielder Mikel, who could feature against Liverpool on Sunday, believes the onus was on him to perform, and admits he crumbled under the pressure.


"I felt the pressure," he said.

"That is why the game against Benin (Nigeria's final Group B game), I just had to do something because everyone was looking to me and I had to do something and make sure we qualify, which I did.

"I took the team to the quarter-finals but I couldn't get us to the semi-finals.

"It is still a shocker for me. I cannot believe we won against them (Benin) and then lost to Ghana in the quarter-finals. I think we played better than Ghana."

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Definitely, says hes looking forward to it -but has vowed to not get sent off :)

Mikel vows to clean up act

Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel has pledged to clean up his game for the good of his team-mates.

The Nigeria international has been sent off four times in his Stamford Bridge career - including twice this season - and has admitted his disciplinary problems are undermining the club's bid for silverware.

Mikel is expected to feature in the squad for Sunday's visit of Liverpool following his return from the Africa Cup of Nations.

"I think it is going to stop," he said, referring to the flurry of red cards he has received in England.

"We will have to see but I don't like that, it is not good for the team to be down to ten men and I am trying all my best to make sure I don't get red cards."

Meanwhile, Mikel is relishing the prospect of returning to action with a high-profile clash against another of their top-four rivals.

"We haven't played the big teams at home and we will see what happens, if I play on Sunday or if I am on the bench," he added.

"But I am glad to be back and that the team has been doing really well.

"Let's hope we keep going like that."

From Team Talkand 4 the Game

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Will be great to have the lad back. Has been outstanding for us this season and will be vital for us against Liverpoo. He has been pretty harshly treated with his red cards to be fair, but he is young and will learn and is learning.

Do you think he has improved on his defensive game ?

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i agree with him as well in the national team regard

it's quite annoying when watching a Nigeria game and all they can talk about is what Obi can do next to help the team

there are far more senior members in the team that should shoulder most of hte responsiblity not lave it all up to him

but i'm glad to hear he wants to clean up his game as well

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