‘Humble’ Loftus-Cheek not getting carried away

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Ruben Loftus-Cheek insists there is no chance of him getting carried away with all the rave reviews following his excellent England debut.

The Chelsea midfielder, on loan to Crystal Palace this season, turned in a hugely impressive display against world champions Germany at Wembley last Friday.

He looked thoroughly at home, displaying a calmness and sureness of touch which belied his lack of experience, and his eye-catching surges helped him land the man of the match award.

But the quietly-spoken 21-year-old is determined to stay grounded.

“Football’s a strange game. It can change very quickly,” he said. “But I know I have to keep my feet on the ground and I don’t think that will be difficult for me.

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“I like to think I’m a humble guy and I’ll keep working hard, keep pushing, aim to stay fit and get as many games as I can, and then who knows what will happen.

“I’m trying to focus on myself and not try to get too caught up in what the media and other people are saying.

“Right now I’m just going to focus on getting better, listen to Roy [Hodgson at Palace] and the coaches and senior players around me and try and develop into the best player I can be.

“I know I have to keep working. Sometimes it’s easy as a young player, you get the exposure, but things change and it’s hard to deal with.”

Loftus-Cheek has had to be patient in his wait for a breakthrough.

He has had to leave Chelsea for now because chances have been so limited – as has been the case for all the Blues’ academy players, in spite of the talent pool. But the move to Selhurst Park has given him the chance to shine.

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Amazingly, for a player with so little experience, next year’s World Cup in Russia becomes a realistic goal, even if he refuses to think too far ahead.

“I believe that if you do the right things, train well and eat well, your time will come,” he said.

“Right now I’ve got the opportunity – a platform to learn at Palace and play every week, if I’m performing, so I’m in a good place.

“I’ve had a lot of texts from the Chelsea boys telling me to just do what I do and hopefully I’ll do well, and that was nice.

“My mindset before the game [against Germany] was just to enjoy it because it was a night I’ll never forget. I just wanted to do what I’d done to get into the England squad, and just tried to soak it all in.

“Russia’s not in my head right now. At the start of the season I was just thinking: ‘Ok, let me get a few games and see where I’m at, but the more you play, the more confident you get.”