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Bertrand hoping to outshine England competition

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 11 Oct 2015

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Ryan Bertrand is hoping to establish himself in the left-back position for England but acknowledges there is a lot of competition for a regular role.

The Southampton man featured in defence as England secured their ninth win in as many games in Euro 2016 qualifying with a 2-0 triumph over Estonia on Friday.

With regular contenders for the left-back position Luke Shaw and Leighton Baines absent due to injury, Bertrand is hoping to seize the opportunity and stake his claim for a spot in the squad for next year’s finals in France.

However, he admits there is a lot of competition and therefore can only focus on trying to provide performances of a consistently high standard.

“There are a few of us in there: myself, Luke, Leighton, [Kieran] Gibbs, even [Danny] Rose and Aaron Cresswell at West Ham,” Bertrand said.

“There are a lot of us vying for that place. It’s about putting in consistency and when we get the chance, we take it.

“I think, first and foremost, when you get here, you do want to perform well.

“But also the position is one that, at club level, is about establishing that consistency within the Premier League and then hopefully those performances are recognised.”

Bertrand was included in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year for 2015, but missed the start of the current campaign after undergoing surgery on a persistent knee problem.

The left-back felt he made the right decision to miss pre-season but is keen to take his comeback slowly.

“It’s good to be back playing, having been injured over the summer,” Bertrand added.

“This is my third game back [on Friday] so the lungs are feeling it. I need to ease myself in and be sensible.

“The operation was something I had planned from January onwards. It was killing me, to be honest.

“It was something I wanted to get done as soon as possible, so I could limit the amount of games that I would miss, rather miss than December or January times, which we all know is a very important period in the Premier League.”

England travel to face Lithuania in their final qualifier on Monday aiming to finish the campaign with their 100 per cent record intact.

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