CHELSEA midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek has noted the importance of staying “mentally strong” for the the rest of the season.
And the midfielder is remaining upbeat despite a lack of playing time under manager Maurizio Sarri.
Loftus-Cheek has nearly completed another season with Chelsea without regular first-team football.
While there have been opportunities to shine in the cup competitions, he’s found playing time hard to come by in the Premier League.
With other options such as Ross Barkley, Jorginho, N’Golo Kante and Mateo Kovacic ahead of him in the pecking order, Loftus-Cheek has had it all to do in trying to impress Maurizio Sarri.
And despite having his best goal-scoring season for Chelsea, which includes a hat-trick in the Europa League, the young midfielder still hasn’t been given regular chances.
Loftus-Cheek, who spent last season on loan at Crystal Palace, has also spoken of the injury problems he’s had this season.
“It’s hard, especially with the injuries I’ve had,” he told Chelsea’s official website.
“It’s important for me to stay mentally strong for the rest of the season, stay fit and work on my body so when I get the opportunities I can do well and help the team.
“I feel good now so hopefully that will stay and I can play to the best of my abilities.”
But Loftus-Cheek was happy to get the opportunity to play in midweek against Dynamo Kiev in the Europa League.
“I really enjoyed it, it was my first 90 minutes in a while,” he added.
“It was difficult at the end but I kept pushing to try and get the runs in my legs and I’m really happy with that.”
“It’s difficult when you’re not playing as much as you’d like and you’re not playing 90 regularly.
“Before I was injured I was playing quite a bit and I was feeling good and then I got injured again at the wrong time for me.
“I had to take it slowly but I’m building up nicely.”
Chelsea take on Everton on Sunday in the Premier League at Goodison Park for the chance to heap pressure on Manchester United, who were on FA Cup duty this weekend.