Barkley: Reaping the rewards

Ross Barkley was delighted to score his first goal at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, and the midfielder is confident he will go on to add to his tally throughout the season.

It’s now two goals in his last two Chelsea appearances for Barkley, who scored his first for the club in our away win at Southampton prior to the international break, and Saturday’s last-gasp strike against Manchester United was one of huge importance as it earned us a point and preserved our unbeaten start to the season.

‘We work on it a lot in training and in the last couple of games it’s worked for me and I’ve arrived at the right times,’ said Barkley, when asked if he had been told to get into the penalty area more often.

‘I believe I will get goals and if it’s from two yards out or 30 yards out it doesn’t matter, a goal is a goal and it makes the difference.

‘The manager just told me to go on and try to help us get the three points. Unfortunately we conceded a goal five minutes after I came on but we showed great fight to come back in the dying moments, we showed a great attitude.’

Saturday’s late leveller capped a productive period for Barkley, who started both of England’s UEFA Nations League matches against Spain and Croatia during the international break, after scoring and providing an assist in our win at St Mary’s.

‘It was a great week for myself, I was back in the England side with two good performances there and then getting my first goal at Stamford Bridge was fantastic for me,’ he said.

‘I got a couple of goals, a couple of assists and played well for England so it just goes to show that hard work does pay off in the end. As the season is going on I’m playing against big teams, we have a lot of competition in our squad and when you get your chance you have to take it, I believe I’m doing the right things.’

Barkley, who is playing well and full of confidence right now, believes he is benefiting from being surrounded by such talented team-mates at Stamford Bridge.

‘I believe I’m a better player now,’ he said. ‘I’ve matured and I understand the game more, which is natural growing up, I’m 24 now.

‘I’m at a big club with a lot of expectation and fantastic players around me, and my performances are showing that.’