Bertrand keen to keep place

England new-boy concentrating on club football at Chelsea

Ryan Bertrand and Ashley Cole: Linking up well on the Chelsea left flank

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Ryan Bertrand is hoping the faith shown in him by Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo will help his international ambitions.

After making his European debut for the Blues in the UEFA Champions League final win over Bayern Munich in May, Bertrand has managed to retain his place in the side this season.

The 23-year-old also featured in Great Britain's Olympic campaign and then made his England debut as a substitute in last week's friendly win over Italy.

While Bertrand relished those experiences, he realised that performing for Chelsea must be the priority if he is to stay in Roy Hodgson's England thoughts.

He said: "It was a fantastic experience for me to go to the Olympics and be part of the fantastic occasion that it was. It was that next step in international football.

"I managed to get on the pitch for 15 minutes the other night in the senior England team so I just have to concentrate on my club football and hopefully that will come with it."

Boosted

Bertrand played the full 90 minutes in Sunday's 2-0 win at Wigan and he is enjoying being involved in a Chelsea squad that has been boosted by the acquisitions of Eden Hazard and Oscar among others.

Bertrand added: "It's good to get back out there again and thankfully we managed to get the three points as well.

"We started off really well, the anticipation had built up and we just couldn't wait to get out there, and we managed to win the game there and then.

"For me personally it was great to get that start. I said at the start of the season that I wanted to increase the amount of games I played from last season so it's really positive.

"With the big-money signings there have been, to retain my place is great for me. I really appreciate it and we managed to repay the manager with a win."

Bertrand is primarily a left-back but has been forced into action further forward, linking up well with Ashley Cole on the flank.

Challenge

The next challenge is to add goals to his game, having grabbed his first for the Blues in the Community Shield earlier this month.

Bertrand said of his relationship with Cole: "The manager sees that we work really well together, it's a really secure side and we attack as well. As long as I'm playing, I'll be happy.

"I managed to poach a goal at the Community Shield last week and it's always nice to score so if I could add that to my game it would be a real bonus."

Bertrand is hopeful of retaining his starting place for Tuesday's visit of Reading - having spent the 2009/10 season on loan at the Royals.

He said: "They'll be a tough team to play against but obviously we'll be at home so we really want to start off with another three points.

"It was a fantastic time for me there, the manager, the players and the fans were really good to me, I have really fond memories of the club."