Ryan Bertrand is hoping he can use the chance presented by Ashley Cole’s injury to continue his own development during another busy period.
The first-choice left-back damaged his hamstring against Manchester United on Monday, allowing Bertrand the chance to step into the limelight. The 23-year-old has already featured 32 times in Chelsea colours this season and is now hoping to play a key role as we take on Rubin Kazan in the Europa League, Sunderland in the Barclays Premier League and Manchester City in the FA Cup.
‘Personally it’s a chance for me to come in now and play in the next few games, but it’s just important to focus on the next game and make sure we get the right results,’ said the England international, who believes playing at home first could be an advantage in our European tie against Russian opposition.
‘Rubin have done really well and managed to knock out the holders in the round of 32. They’ve had very good away form so I’m sure they’ll give us some tough competition.
‘Possibly, if you can get a good start, a couple of goals and a clean sheet,’ he said. ‘Playing away first you have criteria you have to bring home, and playing at home we have those certain criteria we need to get.’
Bertrand hopes a run in the side will help him push Cole for a regular starting slot towards the end of the season and beyond.
‘It’s down to me to keep training well, keep my performances up to a level and keep pushing and pushing until the time comes,’ he said.
‘He’s been a focal point for my career even before he was at Chelsea. He was someone I used to watch when I was younger and having him here at Chelsea has been a good chance for me to see first-hand how he goes about his work day in, day out and he provided a good basis for me to plan around.’
After lifting the Champions League last season, Bertrand is hoping to make the most of present opportunities and win the Europa League this time around.
‘It was always going to be hard to follow up. It doesn’t come around too often,’ he conceded. ‘As a player I want to go and win everything we can, so we want to go as far in every competition we can and secure as high a place in the league as we can as well.
‘It’s a chance to get another fantastic trophy if we do go all the way and win it. To have a chance to be in any competition at my age is a fantastic thing.’