Chelsea midfielder makes admission about Jose Mourinho: This has changed

John Obi Mikel says Chelsea's players are much fitter this season under Antonio Conte

John Obi Mikel has admitted that Antonio Conte has got his Chelsea squad fitter than they were under Jose Mourinho at the start of last season.

The Blues made a stuttering start to the last campaign after being given an extended summer holiday following their Premier League and League Cup triumphs.

Chelsea’s season spiralled into a disaster and resulted in Mourinho’s sacking by the west London club back in December of last year.

Conte has been tasked with steering Chelsea back to the top of English football and the Blues are currently in seventh place in the Premier League table.

However, Mikel feels that the whole of the Chelsea squad are in better physical shape than they were last season because of the Italian’s coaching methods.

Speaking in an interview with Goal, Mikel said: “Yes, I think it played a part last season [not being fit enough].

“One thing is for sure, the team is a lot fitter this season. A lot of players are going to be much, much fitter and that is only going to help the team.

“[Double sessions] That’s the way he wants to train, that’s his style, that’s his way that he thinks we can win and that he thinks can get Chelsea back to where they belong. Obviously, quite a lot was made last year that a lot of the players were not fit, so the club decided to go for someone to make sure we are fit.

“I think we lost quite a lot of games in the previous pre-season. I think in this year’s pre-season, we didn’t lose as many games as we lost in the previous season under Mourinho.

“I have never run as much, in any pre-season ever, as I ran and I think that is going to play a massive part. It is only going to help us through the season.”

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Chelsea host defending champions Leicester City at Stamford Bridge in their next Premier League game on Saturday afternoon.

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