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Mikel begs Conte for West Ham chance

The midfielder would be hoping for his first appearance for the Blues against the Hammers, having been frozen out of Antonio Conte’s squad.

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John Obi Mikel is targeting a place in Chelsea’s squad against West Ham United in Wednesday’s English League Cup encounter.

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The Nigeria international has not been considered for selection by Antonio Conte this season, and he hopes to get a chance against Slaven Bilic’s men at the Olympic Park.

“I hope I will get some playing time against West Ham, but it is down to the manager. He has been open and honest with me,” Mikel told Eveningstandard.

“I respect him for that. He has explained the situation and I totally understand. When you have been at a club for a long time, these things happen where a club wants to move forward.

“I just have to be professional, work as hard as I can to try and get into the team. I work twice as hard every day and it’s because I appreciate this club.

“I have been here a long time, have a lot of trophies and memories that will never go away. If I don’t get back in the side, I will respect it. I always respect the football club’s decision. The club is more important than me.”

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