BERTRAND: STRONG FINISH
The Blues face Roma at Washington's RFK Stadium tonight in the final game of our US trip, and Ryan Bertrand is confident we can finish on a positive note.
The first two matches Stateside saw us comfortably beat Inter Milan and AC Milan, running out 2-0 winners in both matches, with each performance catching the eye due to some wonderful attacking play.
We suffered our first defeat of pre-season, however, on Wednesday , when we were beaten 3-1 by Carlo Ancelotti's Real Madrid, although Bertrand insists the players are not reading too much into that particular result.
'Obviously we want to win the game, we're not thinking too much about the defeat to Real Madrid, it's pre-season and it's all part of the learning curve,' he tells the official Chelsea website. 'It's better that we lose now than when the season starts, but we're looking forward to rectifying that tonight.
'Inter and AC are two good teams and we came through those games comfortably, so it's just about tightening up a few nuts and bolts and making sure we progress.'
On a personal note, it's been a good summer for Bertrand, with the left-back, who turned 24 earlier this week, heavily involved both in Asia and America.
With our opening game against Hull City little over a week away, Bertrand is competing for the left-back spot with Ashley Cole, and with two or more players vying for each position, he believes the team can reap the rewards.
'It's been a good pre-season for me and I'm pleased to have been involved as much as I have,' he says. 'Hopefully I can increase that playing time tonight which will put me in good stead for the start of the season.
'It's important to have competition for places and it brings the best out in the team. With any top-class side you need to have that in every position.'
Tonight's match marks the end of our pre-season campaign, and while friendlies are essential in terms of preparing the players for competitive games, Bertrand is relishing the start of the 2013/14 season.
'I've been waiting for the Premier League to start for a while because there's nothing more satisfying than knowing you've got three points after winning a tough game,' says Bertrand.