Ross Barkley hopes that he has planted a seed in Frank Lampard’s mind after the Chelsea midfielder scored in his first start since October against Nottingham Forest yesterday.
The 26-year-old also revealed that he was out of the team because of two small chips in a bone in his right foot having initially sustained the injury in the first half of the Premier League game against Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge.
He also suffered a setback during his recovery and spent several weeks training using only his left foot.
Now, however, he is back to fitness thanks to double sessions and is keen to work his way back into the head coach’s plans.
“It felt great to be just back on the pitch,” Barkley said after Chelsea progressed to the FA Cup fourth round for the 22nd consecutive year. “I hadn’t played for a while and after I injured my foot I had a setback for a while. I was in pain until a couple of weeks ago. I put in a lot of hard work.
“I was grateful to get a start today and get a goal. Hopefully I can kick on from here, get back in the side and continue working hard in training. Hopefully that goal has put a thought back in the manager’s mind.”
Expanding on the setback, he added: “I had trouble with fine chips on two parts of a bone in my foot. It was really painful and I just had to bide my time, keep working hard. I couldn’t really kick the ball with my right foot so could only train with my left. Now I feel good and I’m ready to get back into the side and keep working hard.
“It was more just trying my hardest in training to pass the ball with my right foot but it was that painful I just had to train with my left foot. Sometimes I just had to come out of training because it was really painful.
“I always stay positive in my mind. Everyone has setbacks and like every footballer you don’t like being in the stands watching the games. You want to be a part of it.
“You have to take every chance you can get. We won, kept a clean sheet and…