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Obi Mikel delighted with start to Chelsea season

John Obi Mikel admits he's delighted with the way he has kicked off the season with Chelsea.

The Nigeria midfielder's passing has been outstanding - particularly at Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

"Last season I did similar things in some games, sometimes it is difficult to do that week in week out, but I did it for Didier last season at Portsmouth, so it is nothing special really," he told

"I don't always get the opportunity to show my range of passing, it is quite difficult, you have everyone in front of you but if I get to do it more and create goals, then good, and it is great we scored 12 goals but more important to me is that I think it's good we haven't conceded any, that's where I feel happiest, my responsibility is more in the defence than the attack."

Mikel has earned more praise from the fitness coaches at Cobham since the beginning of pre-season. They will tell you he is working harder than ever, and the player agrees.

"Towards the end of last season before I was injured I was in good shape and playing almost every week," says the 23-year-old. "Then I got injured, had surgery and did my rehab. I just put my head down and knew I had to work twice as hard as the other players to get myself ready for the start of the season.

"I feel like it is paying off and I don't want to stop, I want to keep going and working hard in training. If you speak to the guys they will tell you I work as hard as anyone else on the training pitch, maybe harder and I just want to keep going like this. This is where I want to be at 23 years old."

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