‘This is the time when you have to play for everything. You start looking towards trophies and you want to win every one. Every year I have been here, from the start of the season we aspire to win every trophy and there is no favouritism about which ones.
‘This season hasn’t been any different. The way we have been playing we have a chance of winning some but like the
players always say, and like the manager always says, we take every game one at a time and that is what we have done this season.
‘We have to keep going and there are going to be more and more difficult games. The loss against Spurs was a blip and we have won in the FA Cup since. Hopefully we are back to winning ways and we can carry on from that.
‘We are playing very well, we are in a good place, the players are happy, the manager is happy with the team and everyone is in good spirits. We all want to achieve a very good season, we all want to win trophies so hopefully we can do that.’
“My joy and my happiness is to come away week in and week out knowing that we have won a game. “
Mikel goes on to explain it is that collective target, the chance to be part of considerable achievement come May, which keeps the whole squad highly motivated and ready for whenever anyone is called into action, adding:
‘The players who have just come in, they have all realised what it is about, how important it is for this club to always win trophies because it has been in our DNA, it has been in our spirit to always win.
‘They quickly realised it and it is something the manager has done a very good job of always installing into the players, to have that winning mentality. If you look at the players and the way they play, the way they think – they think as winners and that is very important.
‘It is something me, Didi, JT, all the older players who have been here a long time also try to make them know. They have all bought into that idea and that mentality of champions, of trying to win.’
‘I have always said in my nine years here that I am a team player. I am not one who wants to take glory just for myself, I’ve gone out of my way to do things whereby I have limited my game but for the good of the team, for the team to succeed.
‘I will keep doing that as long as I am here. My joy and my happiness is to come away week in and week out knowing that we have won a game. I will always continue to do that and my job is to make sure I keep the balance of the team. Every week that I manage to do it I am very proud of myself.
‘Sometimes in football you try your best and it doesn’t work out but I’ll keep trying, I’ll keep doing my best and if the team keeps winning I am very happy.’