- Ruben Loftus-Cheek relished scoring in 5-0 thrashing of Leicester on Saturday
- The 22-year-old midfielder reveals he is enjoying his football at Crystal Palace
- England boss Gareth Southgate watched the game in the stands at Selhurst Park
- Loftus-Cheek insists he’ll focus on Premier League survival before the World Cup
Ruben Loftus-Cheek relished scoring the goal that made the points safe as Crystal Palace beat Leicester 5-0 in front of England manager Gareth Southgate.
The 22-year-old then revealed the extent to which he is enjoying his return to first-team football following injury and that only once Palace have preserved their Premier League status will he focus on the World Cup.
The on-loan Chelsea man’s 81st-minute finish put Palace 3-0 up and represented his first goal since his return from an ankle injury that saw him miss 11 matches.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek relished scoring in the 5-0 thrashing of Leicester on Saturday afternoon
Before then he had played his way into contention for Southgate’s squad for this summer’s competition in Russia, and he told the club’s official website: ‘I have had a few injuries and the last one was difficult to take because I was out for longer than I expected.
‘It’s good to be back and playing in front of the Selhurst fans and getting on the scoresheet is brilliant.
‘I am just concentrating on performing, trying to get better and focusing on trying to win and getting the three points in the next two games for Palace and see what happens.
The on-loan Chelsea man scored in the 81st-minute to put Palace 3-0 up at Selhurst Park
‘It was a fantastic performance from the whole team, we said before that we would come out strong and treat it as a must-win.
‘Right from the start everyone was focused and ready to go and we showed that in the first half, coming in with the lead at half-time and then took the performance even higher in the second, so that was fantastic.
‘We knew if we got the win it would take a lot of pressure off and we obviously still have two games left which we treat as needing to win as well but we are in a good position now and just need to kick on and finish it off.’
England manager Gareth Southgate watched the game from the stands at Selhurst Park
Victory meant Palace climbed up to 11th and six points clear of the bottom three. They are also within six points off ninth-placed Leicester, whose run of four wins from 18 has led to pressure growing on manager Claude Puel.
During Saturday’s second half they lost Wilfred Ndidi to a hamstring injury, which could yet affect his hopes of appearing for Nigeria in Russia.
‘I hope it is not a serious injury for Ndidi and I hope he can play in the World Cup,’ Puel said.
‘All the scenarios were bad for us. We will see. It is a hamstring injury. I hope it is not serious of course because it is an important moment.’
Author: Nancy Parker
Nancy Parker is a five time Emmy Award winning journalist and seven time Emmy nominee who has spent almost twenty five years covering news in South Louisiana. She has anchored every prime time newscast at WVUE FOX8 during her twenty year tenure in New Orleans.