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Mikel gees up Chelsea for Marseille test

John Obi Mikel predicts Chelsea FC will bounce back from their first Premier League loss when Olympique de Marseille visit, stressing: "We have to keep our heads up."

John Obi Mikel expects Chelsea to recover after their weekend setback
John Obi Mikel expects Chelsea to recover after their weekend setback ©Getty Images

Chelsea FC's perfect start to the Premier League season ended on Saturday with a 1-0 defeat by Manchester City FC, but midfielder John Obi Mikel is confident the team will respond positively when they take on French champions Olympique de Marseille at Stamford Bridge.

The 23-year old Nigerian international said: "We've played seven games now this season and we knew one day this would happen. On Saturday we went out to win the game and I think we played very well. We were a bit unlucky on the counterattack, but we knew there would be difficult games during the season and Saturday was one of them. We have to keep our heads up and we know we need to keep training and working hard."

Prior to last Wednesday's 4-3 home defeat by Newcastle United FC in the League Cup, for which Carlo Ancelotti fielded a largely second-string team, the English titleholders had won six games in a row – including a 4-1 Matchday 1 triumph at MŠK Žilina – and scored a remarkable 25 goals, conceding just two.

Mikel is eager to get a similar run going as Marseille come to London looking to atone for a 1-0 home reverse against FC Spartak Moskva in their opening Group F fixture. Didier Deschamps' side have yet to dazzle in Ligue 1 this season, losing two of their first seven fixtures, but their form was of little concern to Mikel, who said: "We want to go out and win the game and not let what happened on Saturday affect us. I don't think there will be any distractions for the players."

Mikel admitted that Chelsea have had to adjust their approach since losing midfielder Frank Lampard to a groin injury, but insisted they have a strong enough squad to cope with the England international's absence. "Frank is an important player for this team," he said. "Over the years he has shown fantastic consistency. Right now he's injured, but I think we still have a lot of players in the squad that can do a similar job to Frank – but being without him is a massive loss for the team, we all know that."