Ruben Loftus-Cheek debut: Chelsea youngster says Champions League appearance 'was a bit weird'

The 18-year-old came on late in the game

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The Independent Online

Ruben Loftus-Cheek says making his senior Chelsea debut has given him a thirst for more first-team playing time.

The 18-year-old midfielder, who has been with the Blues since the age of eight, made his first appearance in Wednesday night's Champions League Group G defeat of Sporting Lisbon.

Manager Jose Mourinho insisted prior to the 3-1 win that Loftus-Cheek's inclusion would be a day for the whole Chelsea academy to celebrate, showing there is a path to the first team despite no one making a lasting impression since John Terry.

Loftus-Cheek, who came on for the final seven minutes, told Chelsea TV: "I wanted it to last longer. It was a bit weird when I came on, a bit surreal, it took a while to sink in.

"Just to come on is all I can ask for. To play at a full Stamford Bridge is amazing. When you come on and you start playing it all just goes away, you're just focused.

"After that I just want to keep working harder - to get more opportunities like that would be wicked."

 

Goalkeeper Petr Cech started against Sporting and also wants further opportunities.

The 32-year-old has been displaced after 10 years as first choice by Thibaut Courtois and has been linked with a move away from Chelsea, with numerous clubs reported to be interested, including Arsenal.

"It's up to everyone to keep working and to show to the manager when you get a game that you can play any game," Cech said on chelseafc.com.

"For everybody it's important to have this opportunity to play and to be in 'game shape' because the season is very long.

"You need everybody in the squad to be available and in the best condition possible to hope that you can win anything."

The match saw Chelsea bounce back from a first loss in 24 matches this season at Newcastle last Saturday with a victory ahead of this weekend's Premier League encounter with Hull.

"It's always important to win especially when you lose a game in the league," Cech added.

"We wanted to have a good performance and win the game and you could see that from the start."

Chelsea, semi-finalists last season, must wait until Monday to discover their last 16 opponents, with Juventus, Basle, Bayer Leverkusen, Paris St Germain or Shakhtar Donetsk all possible opponents in February.

"Last season we were unlucky in the semi-finals and this season we would like to carry on the good work," Cech said.

"We go game by game now. Obviously we have the quality and we know we can beat anybody. Let's see where it takes us."

PA

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