By NBF News

Chelsea's midfielder, John Mikel Obi, is ready to hold at bay any threat from new signing, Ramires, by helping the club retain its Premier League title. Mikel's position in the holding midfield will be contested by Ramires, who joined from Benfica in an £18.2 million move last week.

Mikel's position allows Michael Essien and Frank Lampard to get forward and support the attack, while Ramires can play in any of the three positions, it is the Nigerian midfielder who will be feeling the heat. But he is said to be prepared and focused on helping Chelsea retain title. He paid tribute to Coach Carlo Ancelotti for his faith in him.

“I feel at home at Chelsea,” said Mikel. “When I signed, I was only 19 and looking back, I have really enjoyed my four years at the club. In that period, I have learned much, gained more experience and I know how to read game better. After all that time playing for a team like Chelsea in a league like this, you'll always be better for it.

“I'm very happy playing under Carlo Ancelotti. After a season together, I feel I know him well. He's a manager I can speak with, in many ways. He's like a father. He gives me great confidence. Winning the Premier League was the big one to add to my list. I had won every other domestic trophy since arriving at Chelsea in the summer of 2006.

“But it took until May this year to get my first Premier League winner's medal. It's fantastic to have been able to win all those things by the age of 23 but I suppose that is the benefit of starting your career early. I know there are many great players out there who haven't won any of those things. I feel very happy and very blessed. The next one to add is the Champions League.”

For me, once I've won something, I want to keep it. We only won the Premier League a couple of months ago but already I feel like it didn't happen. Mikel expects Manchester United and Manchester City to push the Blues harder than ever this season but insists his side is even more determined to finish top. The club began the campaign with a stunning 6-0 victory over newly promoted West Brom and now travels to face Wigan, who was beaten 4-0 by the newcomer Blackpool.

But Mikel added: “It's going to be another very tough season. United will be hungry to win the title back. I think City will be up there but we want it just as much, if not more, and it will be our job to try to keep it.

“Just because you have won something, it doesn't mean you lose that hunger. I still have a desire to win all the competitions in which we play. It's the only way to be in my opinion. Truly great teams win things multiple times and that's what I want Chelsea to do.”