Tianjin TEDA coach, Jaime Pacheo, has explained why he decided to play John Obi Mikel as a central defender, in their goalless draw with Jiangsu Suning on Friday.
Mikel Obi partnered Pan Xi Ming in defence, as TEDA recorded their first point of the current Chinese Super League season.
“Mikel is not a central defender, but he was willing to help the team,” Pacheo told sports.enorth.com.cn.
“Before the game I had a personal conversation with him (Mikel) and he said he can play in the position, which was very good for us.
“He had a very good performance, his partnership with Pan Xi Ming in the center-back gave no chance to Jiangsu Suning.
“He showed with his quality on how well the role should be played especially how he communicated with his teammates.”
Tianjin TEDA occupy the 11th position on the CSL table and face Chongqing Lifan in their next game on April 2.