Cape Town - Nigeria skipper John Obi Mikel says he has discussed his lack of game time with Chelsea boss Antonio Conte, and respects his willingness to engage in talks.
Mikel has not featured in a single minute of action for Chelsea this season, despite being fit and playing regularly for his national team.
But having spoken with Conte about his lack of action for the west London club, the midfielder says he is hopeful of playing in Wednesday night's League Cup clash with West Ham at the London Stadium.
"I hope I will get some playing time against West Ham, but it is down to the manager," the 29-year-old told the London Evening Standard.
"He has been open and honest with me. I respect him for that. He has explained the situation and I totally understand," said Mikel, who has been with the Blues for a decade.
"When you have been at a club for a long time, these things happen where a club wants to move forward," he continued.
"I just have to be professional, work as hard as I can to try and get into the team. I work twice as hard every day and it’s because I appreciate this club."