Chelsea's John Mikel Obi admits Europa League apathy

Chelsea midfielder John Mikel Obi

Chelsea's John Mikel Obi says he is desperate to qualify for the Champions League this season because he struggles to get motivated for the Europa League.

The Blues have reached the last eight of the Europa League after exiting the Champions League earlier this season.

"What do they say [about the Europa League]? Thursday nights, Channel 5?" said 25-year-old Mikel.

"Hopefully, next season we are not going to be in it and we are going to be prime time."

Chelsea are currently third in the Premier League as they bid to secure a top four spot and Champions League qualification for next season.

But manager Rafael Benitez's side can also win two trophies this term - they are leading Russian side Rubin Kazan 3-1 after the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final, and they will face Manchester City in the semi-final of the FA Cup at Wembley on Sunday.

"Champions League football is what this club has always been involved in and that is what we as players want to achieve," said Mikel.

"We want to be in the top four, top three, whatever. We want to be in the Champions League next season.

"No disrespect to the Europa League ... but when you get that buzz, and you hear the Champions League song, it's different.

"And we have been used to it, to those nights, those special nights, and we want to get them back, we want to be involved again in the Champions League next season.

"I don't even know the Europa League song. I have been here seven years and I have never played football on Thursday nights."

The Nigerian international added: "It has been kind of frustrating to watch [Champions League matches] - and we have to then play on Thursday night."