Bertrand hoping for international call

Chris Lakey Ryan Bertrand has his eyes on an England breakthrough - and helping City to finally come good isn't going to do his claims any harm at all. Bertrand was called up for the Under-21s for the two-legged play-off victory over Wales earlier this month which earned Stuart Pearce's team a place in next year's European Championship finals in Sweden.

Chris Lakey

Ryan Bertrand has his eyes on an England breakthrough - and helping City to finally come good isn't going to do his claims any harm at all.

Bertrand was called up for the Under-21s for the two-legged play-off victory over Wales earlier this month which earned Stuart Pearce's team a place in next year's European Championship finals in Sweden.

And although he only made it as far as being an unused sub in the first game, Bertrand is eager to prove himself worthy of another call when the Under-21s play the Czech Republic in a friendly at Bramall Lane on November 18.


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“It has been a brilliant experience just to go and watch and get a taste of the action,” said the on-loan Chelsea youngster.

“I can only improve my performances here and hopefully I will get that starting chance soon.

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“You go away and train with the best youngsters in the Premiership and you realise they are playing week in, week out and you realise you are not far off that level, if not already there. Hopefully I will carry on playing my game and hopefully be there one day.”

Pearce watched Bertrand and under-21s hopeful Elliott Omozusi from the stands in the 1-0 defeat at Bristol City a week ago - both would have been happier had he seen the 5-2 demolition of Wolves four days later.

“I think it proved that me and Elliott can go up to the level,” he said. “They are the best two wingers in the league: Kightly has been raved about and Carlos Edwards has come down from the Premier League. Me and Elliott kept them quiet all night long - even when they tried switching sides it came to nothing. If we can keep playing like that hopefully we will both get the call-up.”

City take on struggling Doncaster this afternoon, and Bertrand says fans could be in for a surprise.

Rovers are second from bottom of the Championship and have taken only one point from their last eight games.

But they have won praise for persisting with the passing game which helped them win promotion from League One last season - and Bertrand has first-hand experience of how good they can be.

“Everyone will be seeing them as underdogs, but I was on loan at Oldham last season and I played against them and they were really good,” he said. “They like to get the ball down and pass it. Hopefully it will be a good game of football for the spectator, but hopefully it's a game of football that we will win.

“All teams will use the long ball as and when, but I think everyone will be in for a surprise and they will try and get the ball down and play.”

City will be buoyed by their midweek success, but Bertrand knows the pitfalls of taking it easy today.

“We could have scored a few more, but it is important that we forget about that game now,” he said. “That win won't mean a thing if we go and lose against Doncaster. It's important we go and get three points at the weekend as well.

“It just shows that it is a new team. I know it has been longer than expected, but I guess everyone is finally starting to click. It probably took a game to get used to Leroy (Lita) and the way he plays, but obviously the boys realised that and that showed by him getting a hat-trick and hopefully we can bring that form into the next game.

“He has made a massive difference, someone of that status coming down here to help us out. Everyone knows he has got goals in him. But it is just about the support, if we can get it to him there is no doubt he will find the back of the net.”

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