Mikel warns against Drogba distraction
Jon Obi Mikel has warned that Chelsea “cannot get carried away” with Didier Drogba’s return to Stamford Bridge after being drawn against Roberto Mancini’s Galatasaray in the last-16 of the Champions League.
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Drogba will make his first return to the club since scoring the penalty that clinched victory over Bayern Munich in the 2012 Champions League final, and manager Jose Mourinho had said ahead of the draw that he hoped to face the Turkish side as the Ivorian striker “deserves to come here.”
However, Mikel said that, while he will be happy to see Drogba return, the focus must be on progressing to the next round.
“We shouldn’t get carried away about him coming back,” the midfielder told his club’s official website. “He is a player that was here for eight years, he won major trophies, he’s a big player with a big personality.
“Obviously he had to move on but Chelsea continue -- we have to win games. He’s coming here with his new club, Galatasaray, who we want to beat, so we shouldn’t get carried away about him coming back. We want to win the game.
“I’m sure he will text very soon. He’s probably having a drink after seeing the draw, but it will be great to have him back.”
Although Chelsea will be favourites to progress, Galatasaray eliminated Juventus during the group stage as a late Wesley Sneijder goal secured a 1-0 victory when the teams met last week.
“They are a great team,” Mikel added. “Didier, Wesley -- they have a good team and obviously they have Roberto Mancini, who is trying to implement his philosophy and change the way they play.
“It will be tough but it’s a game we’re looking forward to. It will be good to meet old rivals, who you have played against in the past, as well as old teammates.”
Chelsea defender David Luiz suggested the first leg of the tie in Istanbul will be crucial to the outcome.
“It will be hard for us,” the Brazil international told the official Chelsea website. “You can see how important it is for Galatasaray when they play at home -- they qualified in the last game, which they had to wait one more day to play because of the snow, and they beat a team like Juventus.
“It’s good for us to play the second leg at home, but for sure you need to get a great result to qualify. That’s why we need to get a great result in the first game. We have to think that we need to win that game because even if we draw 0-0 and they come here and score an away goal, it will become a very difficult game.”