Monday 23 September 2019

Ruben Loftus-Cheek targets starting spot at Chelsea

The England midfielder scored after coming off the bench against Fulham.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is determined to earn a place in Chelsea’s Premier League side (John Walton/PA)
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is determined to earn a place in Chelsea’s Premier League side (John Walton/PA)

By Matt McGeehan, Press Association Sport

Ruben Loftus-Cheek hopes to continue to make an impression on Maurizio Sarri and force his way into the head coach’s first-choice Chelsea team.

Loftus-Cheek came off the substitutes’ bench to score in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Fulham, his second goal providing a valuable cushion as Sarri later lamented the failure to kill off their opponents.

It was Loftus-Cheek’s first Premier League appearance since October’s win at Burnley and afterwards Sarri said the England midfielder “solved me problems”.

“When I get time to play I am always doing my best,” Loftus-Cheek said on chelseafc.com.

“This season it looked like I am getting time in the Europa League and I had to be ready for that.

“And if I do well in the Europa League then maybe I will get more minutes in the Premier League, like this game, and I will try to do my best.

“The more I play the better I feel and the better I play. Days like this I get my time to play and try to take it, whether that is a goal or an assist or making blocks.

“I have to do things both defensively and offensively.”

Chelsea lost for the first time this season, ending an 18-match unbeaten competitive run, at Tottenham and responded with last Thursday’s 4-0 Europa League win over PAOK.

Next for the Blues is Wednesday’s Premier League clash at Wolves before Saturday’s visit of leaders Manchester City to Stamford Bridge.

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Maxime Le Marchand is encouraged by Fulham’s progress under Claudio Ranieri (Steven Paston/PA)

Fulham on Wednesday face Claudio Ranieri’s former club Leicester, title winners in 2015/16 under the Italian.

The Cottagers boss said his side’s performance in defeat at Chelsea was better than in victory over Southampton.

Left-back Maxime Le Marchand concurs and says there is optimism for the future.

“He’s an Italian gaffer, so we work tactically and I think we’re getting better, but there’s still a few details we need to work on,” he said on fulhamfc.com.

“We’re getting better. We have a really good team spirit, which is good and helping us to improve.

“It’s better and we are confident for the future.”

PA Media

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