Ryan Bertrand hoping to be selected for England

 

Ryan Bertrand is hoping the faith shown in him by Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo will be matched at international level by England manager Roy Hodgson.

Having made his European debut in the Champions League final win over Bayern Munich in May, Bertrand has kept his place at the start of this season, scoring in the Community Shield last weekend and playing 90 minutes yesterday in Chelsea's opening Barclays Premier League game of the season against Wigan.

The 23-year-old played a key role in Great Britain's Olympic campaign and then received his first England call-up for last week's friendly win over Italy, replacing Leighton Baines in the second half.

Bertrand said: "It was a fantastic experience for me to go to the Olympics and be part of the fantastic occasion that it was. It was that next step in international football.

"I managed to get on the pitch for 15 minutes the other night in the senior England team so I just have to concentrate on my club football and hopefully that will come with it."

Chelsea's biggest summer signing, Eden Hazard, caught the eye at the DW Stadium yesterday, creating the first goal for Branislav Ivanovic inside two minutes and then winning the penalty that Frank Lampard scored in the seventh minute.

Wigan enjoyed much of the play after that but Chelsea preserved their clean sheet to win 2-0 and make a perfect start to their campaign.

Bertrand said: "It's good to get back out there again and thankfully we managed to get the three points as well.

"We started off really well, the anticipation had built up and we just couldn't wait to get out there, and we managed to win the game there and then.

"For me personally it was great to get that start. I said at the start of the season that I wanted to increase the amount of games I played from last season so it's really positive.

"With the big-money signings there have been, to retain my place is great for me. I really appreciate it and we managed to repay the manager with a win."

Bertrand is a left-back by trade but, with Ashley Cole a fixture in that position for both club and country, the apprentice has found himself pushed further forward.

Bertrand is happy to play wherever he is needed and is hoping his advanced role will allow him to chip in with a few goals.

The 23-year-old said of his relationship with Cole: "The manager sees that we work really well together, it's a really secure side and we attack as well. As long as I'm playing, I'll be happy.

"I managed to poach a goal at the Community Shield last week and it's always nice to score so if I could add that to my game it would be a real bonus."

Bertrand's next chance to impress is likely to come against newly-promoted Reading on Wednesday in Chelsea's first home match of the season.

Bertrand spent the 2009/10 season on loan with the Royals in the Championship, and he said: "They'll be a tough team to play against but obviously we'll be at home so we really want to start off with another three points.

"It was a fantastic time for me there, the manager, the players and the fans were really good to me, I have really fond memories of the club."

While it was a perfect start for Chelsea, Wigan boss Roberto Martinez was left cursing his side's poor opening to the game, while midfielders Shaun Maloney and James McArthur were both forced off with niggles in the second half.

The Spaniard has strengthened his squad over the summer and could call on Arsenal loanee Ryo Miyaichi at Southampton on Saturday after he sat out yesterday's game.

Martinez said of the Japanese winger: "He's been a real surprise. He came in the first day with a big smile and he's never stopped smiling.

"I couldn't work with him enough to get him involved (against Chelsea). The way we play, you need to understand certain concepts, but he's worked twice with the team, he's connected with everyone, and he's an exciting talent.

"We are all really looking forward to seeing what he can do this season."

PA

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