Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel wants interim manager Guus Hiddink to extend his stay at the club beyond the current season, despite the Dutchman confirming his intention to leave the club in May.
Hiddink replaced Jose Mourinho in December and has lost just once in 13 games in all competitions with the same squad that suffered the club’s worst start to a league season since 1978 under the Portuguese.
Mikel, who has featured in 11 games for Hiddink after falling out of favour under Mourinho, has followed Oscar in praising Hiddink’s impact.
‘Obviously, definitely I want him to stay,’ he said. “It is the choice of the owner, the club and the board… but if you speak to the players, 98 or 99 per cent of them want him to stay.’
Hiddink, 69, said on Friday that he would leave as planned after the current campaign but Mikel feels there is a chance he may stay on.
‘It depends on the board and it depends on Guus if he wants to continue. He has said that he is here until the end of the season but you never know, he might change his mind,” the 28-year-old added.
‘If the club want to appoint him, fair enough. His record speaks for itself.’
Mikel said Hiddink had an immediate impact at the club after walking back through the doors for his second spell at Stamford Bridge.
‘From day one, since Guus has come in, the atmosphere has changed. The players feel more relaxed, people know what their jobs are and people are getting on with their jobs in a more relaxed way.
‘He has given responsibility to people and expects them to thrive on it and make sure they do it in a way where they feel comfortable. I think that’s what the players are showing now.’