Middlesbrough of England midfielder, John Mikel Obi has admitted he is facing a different kettle of fish playing in the English Championship, but the Super Eagles captain says he is relishing the fresh challenge.
Rather than balk under pressure of being a big fish in a small pond, footballlive.ng can report that Mikel is taking the new terrain within his strides and believes he can help Boro achieve promotion.
‘The Catalyst’ reasoned that Middlesbrough belong to the English Premier League, such that his immediate ambition is to help them get back into the top-flight, either directly or through the play-offs.
The former Lyn Oslo of Norway, Chelsea of England and Tianjin Teda of China star stressed that The Riverside outfit have the right quality needed to regain the EPL spot he believes they deserve.
Heading into this weekend’s line of matches, Boro lie fifth on the log and nine points off the top, but Mikel pointed out that they have a game in hand on the first two teams and insists they are in good form.
Mikel added: “I love challenges and I knew to come in here would be a challenge for me, and being in the second division.
“I knew this club would be pushing for promotion and managing to do that wouldn’t be easy.
“Middlesbrough is a massive club and should be in the Premier League. It is where they belong for me.
“If we could get automatic promotion, fine, and if we get into the play-offs and that is how we do it, then that would be amazing as well.”