Learning and developing
news Tue 10 Jan 2017
Two of our young players involved in Sunday’s FA Cup win over Peterborough – Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Nathaniel Chalobah – have been speaking about making the most of their opportunity to impress Antonio Conte.
Both players started the game and caught the eye as the Blues secured a comfortable 4-1 win to set up a home game against Brentford in the fourth round.
Loftus-Cheek made his third start of the season, playing on the left-hand side of the front three, and was lively throughout. It was his cushioned pass which set up Michy Batshuayi to score our second goal.
‘I thought I did quite well and I really enjoyed being out on the pitch,’ he said. ‘When the cup games come around the players who haven’t played much usually get a chance, so it was great for me to get an opportunity.
‘We had quite a lot of chances and we didn’t take all of them, I missed one as well but that happens. We got a few goals so we can’t be disappointed and we move on to the next round.’
Chalobah, who partnered Cesc Fabregas in midfield, completed his first full game for the Blues, looking assured and confident on the ball, as well as providing protection for the three-man defensive unit.
He was delighted to play the full 90 minutes and share some time on the pitch with fellow Academy products Loftus-Cheek and Ola Aina, who was introduced in the second half.
‘It’s unbelievable just to walk out and hear the noise from the crowd,’ Chalobah told Chelsea TV. ‘I used to watch games at Stamford Bridge and now to walk out of the tunnel with the team is a great feeling.
‘I’ve known Ola and Ruben for a long time so to see them on the pitch, and to play with them, is a great achievement not only for us but for the people who work so hard in the Academy, the people who are trying to push the young players through.’
Loftus-Cheek went on to speak about Conte’s influence on his own game, and how he is benefiting by working under the Italian.
‘He always helps me in training and playing different positions is only going to help my knowledge of the game,' he said. 'I’m getting my development in training with him.
‘In all positions we can play well and we’re versatile. We saw Pedro play as a wing-back on Sunday and there are no egos, wherever we’re asked to play we’ll do that to the best of our ability.’
You can watch Chalobah speaking to Chelsea TV after the game by clicking on the video below.