Keshi dropped star players Oaze Oemwingie, Obafemi Martins, Taye Taiwo, Uche Kalu and more, in favour of younger talent, and has seen his decision rewarded with the country's first Final in 13 years.
Mikel says it is a gamble that deserves credit.
"All credit must go to the coach who took a gamble on a very young squad, because I'm just 25-years-old but am looking like the oldest in the team," Mikel said.
The balance of youth and experience has ensured a stable dressing room, and helped the team bond, according to the Chelsea star.
“We are together, united and playing for each other and that has accounted for where we are today.
"This team will not only win the trophy on Sunday for the Nigerian people but will win many more trophies for a long time to come,” he added.