Bertrand 'relishing' his loan chance
Chris Lakey Ryan Bertrand is the perfect advertisement for the loan system. The 18-year-old is at City until the end of the campaign, courtesy of Premiership giants Chelsea, who also allowed him to spend time with Bournemouth and Oldham last season.
Ryan Bertrand is the perfect advertisement for the loan system.
The 18-year-old is at City until the end of the campaign, courtesy of Premiership giants Chelsea, who also allowed him to spend time with Bournemouth and Oldham last season.
It's all part of the learning process and better than the alternative - the much-criticised reserve team football set-up.
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"It is brilliant for my development so I am relishing the chance," he said. "Playing for the reserves is good, but the experience you get going on loan is second to none - playing in front of 25,000 every week is more than I can ask for."
Bertrand has been at City since early this month, starting three of his four games, and is a likely starter for tonight's game at Southampton, his memories of which highlight his progress.
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"My only memory of Southampton is from two years ago now - I was on the bench for the reserves playing against their reserves, and now I'm coming back for the first team," he said. "It's funny how things can change. I want to go and do really well and hopefully we can get three points."
Bertrand has played left-back and left midfield - positions which aren't often up for grabs at Stamford Bridge, where the likes of Ashley Cole and Wayne Bridge battle for defensive duties while the midfield is lavishly sprinkled with international mega-stars.
Despite the competition, Bertrand refuses to be put off by the challenge he faces when he returns to his parent club.
"There is always going to be competition for places, no matter if it's in the team you are in where there is a younger player or it's someone from abroad, there is always someone coming for your place," he said. "You just have to take competition as it comes and if you want to be the best you have to beat the best."
The growing up procedure has moved on a pace for Bertrand after his League One experiences - and he's loving the step up.
"It is much more physical and the speed of the game - no one gives you any time on the ball," he said. "You really have to know your next pass and be able to look after yourself as well.
"But it has gone fantastically well. I've settled in here - it feels like I have been here years now, I have got to know everyone so it's really good at the moment."
Bertrand is a natural left-back, but his ability to move forward to left midfield and combine with Mo Camara helps balance the preferred wing choice of Lee Croft on the right.
"With me and Mo playing there if he wants to go forward I can just sit in," he said.
"Playing left midfield will improve my attacking side of the game. When I do play left-back and cross the halfway line with the ball it will improve my game in that aspect."