Mikel confident of Nigeria role
By Andrew Scurr
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
John Obi Mikel is expecting to return in time for the African Cup of Nations.John Obi Mikel is expecting to return to the Nigeria set-up in time to compete in next year's African Cup of Nations.
The Chelsea midfielder was banned by the Nigeria Football Association after he pulled out of a qualifier against Uganda in June because of injury.
Mikel's suspension from all international action was understood to be for an indefinite period but the 20-year-old is confident of playing for Nigeria again soon.
"I don't think that is true," Mikel said on Sky Sports News when asked if he had been suspended indefinitely.
"I spoke to the people there and there seemed to be a misunderstanding in the first game because I was injured after my season with Chelsea.
"I went back home and had to rest my muscles because I was tired."
Meanwhile, Mikel is looking to make more of an impact for Chelsea in his second season after admitting his first year had been 'difficult'.
Mikel is seen as a possible long-term replacement for Claude Makelele in The Blues' holding midfield role.
"My first season for Chelsea was a bit difficult but I started playing towards the end," he added.
"The team is great and the manager is a good man - everyone has helped me."