Nigeria coach bemoans Mourinho's use of Chelsea star

John Obi Mikel 2

Stephen Keshi would like to see John Obi Mikel play more for Chelsea.

Nigeria's defence of the African Nations Cup has not begun well. They started things off with a disappointing 3-2 defeat at home to Congo.

Yesterday they had the chance to get back on track against South Africa in Cape Town. But again they failed to hit full throttle. They drew 0-0 in what was a woeful bore draw between the two sides.

The Super Eagles are now in third place in the group with just one point; ahead of Sudan but below Congo and South Africa.

With that in mind the restless Nigerian public are concerned with the current situation. Some have been discussing the potential end of the Stephen Keshi era, while the likes of striker Emmanuel Emenike have also come under fire.

But Chelsea star John Obi Mikel is also struggling to find his form for his nation.

Mikel is Nigeria's star player. He plays in a more advanced midfield role than Chelsea will recognise and it really does suit him, it is of course the position where he first caught the eye in Norwegian football.

But he was anonymous again against the Bafana Bafana yesterday, and Keshi believes that it has something to do with his lack of football at Chelsea:

“It might [be]. He's not playing in his [club] team, that doesn't mean I cannot use him in my team. That is the coach’s choice not to play him in his team, but my team is in good shape. After a world of experience playing [in the] Champions League, he earned his place and he has to make the best out of the situation.”

Mikel has not been a regular at Chelsea for several seasons now. Once again that appears to be the case this term. With the likes of Ramires, Nemanja Matic and Cesc Fabregas all in the way of his progress.

Nigeria will not drop Mikel. He is their marquee player and if they are to turn things around in their African Nations defence he will play a vital part of proceedings.

But Nigerian fans will certainly hope to see him play more for Chelsea in order to help Nigeria on their way.

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