Essien prepared for Chelsea challenge
7/29/2012 11:30:35 AM -
Michael Essien insists he has no intention of leaving Chelsea despite uncertainty over his future.
With the European champions making additions to the squad, concerns have been raised about the Ghanaian midfielder's role in Roberto Di Matteo's changing side which has already seen three players - Didier Drogba, Salomon Kalou and Jose Bosingwa - depart.
Essien, after a series of serious knees injuries, the 29 year-old, who argued that he did not feel like Chelsea's 'forgotten man'.
'My intention is to stay and I'm looking forward to a new season I still have two more years here. I'm still here, I'm still around,' said Essien, who was speaking at a coaching clinic in Miami to help youngsters from the Caribbean and Central America diaspora, during Chelsea's pre-season tour to the United States.
'I feel now that I am coming back to what I used to be. It's been a long road but I am almost there.'
Essien ruptured anterior cruciate ligaments in July 2011, following a similar injury in 2008, but he said he was never concerned that his career would not recover.
'I was never worried about that,' he maintained. 'It's always frustrating when you are injured and not playing but you have to work and stay positive.
'I'm the sort of person who is very calm, I'm a very positive person. I just get on with what I have to do, what work I have to do. I've not changed and won't change my style.'
Despite Chelsea's huge signings with the likes of Eden Hazard and Oscar coming in, Essien faces a tough competition for the defensive midfield role.
'Yes, the team is changing and there have been players going, new players coming in but that's how professional football is,' he added. 'You just have to deal with the situation and go out and perform for the team.
'I will play anywhere I am asked to play and it's always been that way with me. I work hard for the team, for Chelsea. I've played right-back and other positions and it's no problem.
'The injuries I have had are just part of the game and when they happen you just have to get yourself back. But I'm now available and will be there when the manager calls on me.
'I've not set myself any targets. I just pray to be injury-free I'm very calm. I don't talk much but put me on the pitch and I will do my best.'