Winning Africa Cup of Nations will inspire Nigeria at World Cup, says Mikel

The Chelsea midfielder thinks that the Super Eagles can ride on the wave of being African champions to launch a successful campaign in Brazil next summer

Chelsea and Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel believes that his country will do well at the World Cup due to confidence instilled by heading to Brazil as Africa Cup of Nations champions.

The Super Eagles won their third African title in February and will go to Brazil 2014 as the first reigning African champions since 2002 when Cameroon held the title before heading to the tournament in Japan and South Korea.

Nigeria are drawn in Group F alongside Argentina, Iran and debutants Bosnia-Herzegovina, but Mikel is undaunted by the task at hand.

"I think being African champions has given us a huge lift. I think the mentality of the team has changed in the past couple of years, we believe now that we can go into every game and win," Mikel told Goal while receiving the 2013 Goal Nigeria Player of the Year award.

"I think the Africa Cup of Nations has given us a lot of belief to go into the World Cup - I know we can do well."

The Super Eagles already have had a taste of what to expect next year after their campaign in the 2013 Confederations Cup saw them win against Tahiti and lose against Uruguay and Spain.

"If you look at the games we played in the Confederations Cup, we put on a very good performance in all the games," continued Mikel.

"We were unlucky in the game against Uruguay, I think we should have beaten them by four or five. If you look at the game against Spain, we played really well but they just had that little bit of quality to get the goals."

Commenting on the return of manager Jose Mourinho to Chelsea, Mikel said the Blues will need time to begin to win every game after an inconsistent campaign to date.

"We haven't hit the heights that everyone wants us to hit but there have been changes, he's come in with a different philosophy but still the mentality that we want to win every game and he is putting that into all the players," said Mikel.

"It's going to take a bit of time but it's something we're working towards. Hopefully we will start to hit our heights soon and be playing consistently well but right now I think we're in a very good position in the Premier League and the Champions League so if we can pick the standard up even higher I think it will be a very successful year."