Super Eagles midfielder Mikel Obi is hoping to make his first appearance for Chelsea when they face West Ham in Wednesday'sEnglish Football League Cup tie at the London Stadium.
The Nigerian skipper who is yet to feature for the Blues this term revealed to The Metro that he held talks with Antonio Conte over his inaction at the club.
The arrival of Frenchman N'Golo Kante further pushed Mikel down the pecking order below Nemanja Matic, Cesc Fabregas, Nathaniel Chalobah, Reuben Loftus-Cheek.
"I hope I will get some playing time against West Ham [in the EFL Cup], but it is down to the manager," said Mikel.
"He has been open and honest with me. I respect him for that. He has explained the situation and I totally understand.
"When you have been at a club for a long time, these things happen where a club wants to move forward.
"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.
"I have been here a long time, have a lot of trophies and memories that will never go away. If I don’t get back in the side, I will respect it.
"I always respect the football club’s decision. The club is more important than me."