Stoke City Coach Michael O’Neill has praised former Nigeria international John Obi Mikel for his invaluable contribution to his side since his arrival, revealing he has made the club stronger with his role.
The 33-year-old teamed up with the Potters in the summer after leaving Turkish Super Lig side Trabzonspor by mutual agreement and has continued to make his experience count for the Bet365 Stadium outfit in the 11 games he has played for the club so far.
The former Super Eagles skipper has helped the club keep five clean sheets since his arrival at the club to their current eighth spot on the Championship table.
The manager is delighted with the solid defensive performances from his club and praised the impact of the former Super Eagles captain.
In a pre-match press conference on Saturday, the manager said “Our number of clean sheets has been impressive”
“I think even going back to the start of this calendar year, I think we rank among the best in the division in terms of clean sheets. It’s important how we defend as a team, not just a back four.
“John Obi Mikel has made us stronger in that area as well, we’re stronger in midfield and we’ve been stronger as a unit in how we defend from the front.”
The midfielder, who signed a one-year deal with Stoke City has previously revealed his desire to help the Championship club gain promotion to the Premier League at the end of the current season.