Chelsea's heavy defeat against Manchester City was remarkable as much for its embarrassing nature as well as how little reaction (especially during the game) it seemed to elicit from the players on the pitch. Even the fans were subdued, resigned to our inglorious fates. But there are players who still seem to care, who still have something to play for and prove this season. One of them is young midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek, who talked about rising up to the challenge of playing outside his comfort zone and against illustrious opposition, and how he hopes that everybody will actually try in the next game, even!
"It's always hard to lose at home. We came into the game with the aim to win and, like I say, it's hard, but we have to pick our heads up and go again because we've got another game soon."
"It's a tough mental challenge playing in any Premier League game, but especially against big teams like Man City. I'm always growing, particularly any time I'm outside my comfort zone, so I look forward to big games like this."
"Aguero has great ability and we saw that. He's got blistering pace and that's where we got done, on the counter-attack. It was a good experience for me to play against players like that. I am looking forward to playing more."
"We will go back to the training ground, put this behind us and train hard to try and get to our top level and hopefully give our best in those games. I'm sure we are all going to try and win them."
-Ruben Loftus-Cheek; Source: Chelsea FC
If there's anything positive to take from the last few weeks of Chelsea's play, it is Loftus-Cheek's involvement in the team. Although he still has a lot to work on, especially when it comes to his fitness, it's been a pleasure to see one of our youngsters taking to the pitch and doing the most with his chances, sending a much-needed message of optimism across the youth ranks and the fanbase.
Here's hoping that Loftus-Cheek's involvement continues the rest of the season as well as under new manager Antonio Conte next term.