Mikel hoping Shakhtar defeat will not affect Chelsea morale

The club's title hopes have faded in three of the past four seasons during October, and the midfielder is hoping they can buck the trend with Manchester United visiting on Sunday

Jon Obi Mikel wants Chelsea to bypass their habitual winter struggle and maintain their role as the Premier League pacesetters when they face Manchester United on Sunday.

The Nigerian midfielder is well aware of the effect a bleak October run can have on the Blues' title aspirations having seen Luis Feipe Scolari, Carlo Ancelotti and Andre Villas-Boas fall by the wayside in recent years at Stamford Bridge.

25/1 Chelsea are 25/1 with Bet365 to remain unbeaten in the Premier League this season

And, after Shakhtar Donetsk inflicted their first competitive defeat of the season in the Champions League on Tuesday, Mikel is hoping Roberto Di Matteo's men can work on their defensive solidity before they host United and prolong their unbeaten league run.

“When the first goal went in, it became very difficult," Mikel told the The Daily Mirror. "We started chasing the game and the game became very open. Then they had more space to play in and it became very difficult for us.

“We have to make sure we get back into training and try and correct the mistakes that happened in Donetsk and try to defend better together as a team.

“All of us know what has happened in recent seasons so we have to make sure that this defeat doesn’t make that happen again. We have to make sure we correct it very quickly and that starts with the next game against United.

“They will be very dangerous as usual and if we defend the way we did in Donetsk it’s going to be difficult for us. We have to defend as a unit, play together as a unit. As long as we do that on Sunday, we’ll have a very good chance.”