JOHN Mikel Obi says now is the time for Chelsea to knuckle down and turn their season into one to remember.

The Blues midfielder, calm and competent amid the mayhem of yesterday's win over Sunderland, believes there will be rewards ahead for Chelsea if they can maintain momentum to the end of what may be a mammoth 70-game season.

“We knew it was going to be tough,” said the Nigerian. “We’re coming to the business end and it’s going to be really tough.

“We have to keep going, keep playing. Now towards the send of the season all you need is to get three points and we’ve very pleased with this result.

“We prepare for it and the manager is doing his job by rotating the team as well and it keeps the players fresh going into each game. If we can go through this period still in the top three/four, we will be pleased.”

Mikel was, however, cool on any suggestion that 'interim' boss Rafael Benitez was starting to win over the fans after a series of positive results.

“I don’t know about that,” said the midfielder. “The fans have always supported the club and the players and will continue to do that.

“As long as we keep winning games, the fans will support the team and the players.”

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