Every word in Bertrand Traore's interview with the Chelsea official website, in their regular 'Weekend Interview' feature, oozes self-confidence. Even more importantly, it's also clear that he's a willing and unafraid learner, ready to put into match action whatever he practices on the training ground, whatever instructions he may receive from the manager. It's no wonder he's getting plenty of minutes lately.
"It's important to be decisive. That's what I try to do every time I come on the pitch. During games I am always looking for the goal and that is something that comes naturally. I can score different types of goals and that is one of my strengths. I have scored some from outside the box, like against Stoke. I scored a header against Man City. The other two were from balls coming in to the area from different sides, so they have all come from different situations."
With fitness issues also hindering the likes of Loic Remy and Alexandre Pato (and Radamel Falcao), Traore has firmly grabbed hold of the backup striker role. It wouldn't be the first time in the history of sports that someone made good on an opportunity presented by injuries; should Traore continue playing, learning, scoring as well and as often as he has, there should be no reason for that situation to change.
"I don't know what my best position is. I can play in every attacking position. I feel good in any of them. It's an advantage in football to be able to do that and I will continue to work hard at it, wherever I am asked to play."
"I always have my eyes on the goal to try and score or make an assist. Staying focused on the game, working hard and trying to be decisive - that's what I can bring to the team. I always try things. If you never try something, you'll never get it. So I'm never worried about making mistakes because I know I will learn from them."
Jose Mourinho was famously a huge fan of Traore, but while the kid from Burkina Faso didn't get much of a chance to impress under Jose, he's been great lately with Hiddink. The 20-year-old credits the interim manager for not only giving him a chance, but for making a crucial change in his game to allow him to become more effective in the Premier League.
"It's true, he has talked to me a lot. And I have learned a lot."
"It's all been about playing quicker football. I try to play one and two-touch and then move forward. I don't try to dribble with the ball like I did before. Instead I try to move between the defenders and then get in the box whenever I can to look for the goal. The speed of the play here is really tough but I have been with the team now since the beginning of the season and I think I have got used to it, from training and in matches. You have to think before you get the ball about what your next step will be."
-Bertrand Traore; source: Chelsea FC
With Costa expected to be sidelined for Saturday's trip to Goodison Park, Traore could be taking center stage once again and continue making a name for himself.