Ruben Loftus-Cheek says maintaining “good habits” is his only path to regular first-team opportunities after scoring a hat-trick in Chelsea’s 3-1 win over BATE.
The often-overlooked 22-year-old issued a reminder of his talents to Maurizio Sarri as he netted twice in the opening eight minutes before finishing off the visitors with a third shortly after half-time.
Aleksey Rios did grab a late consolation for BATE but it was far from enough to derail Chelsea’s stroll to a third successive Europa League victory.
Nor did it overshadow the standout performance from England international Loftus-Cheek, who will not be getting carried away in his bid for a first Premier League start of the season.
“The first thing in my head is to keep playing well, to keep sharp in case I do get an opportunity to start,” the midfielder told BT Sport.
“I need to keep up good habits, eating well, sleeping well, training well and hopefully my opportunity will come.
“The manager said to win this, and that the target is top of the group. It’s a really nice feeling [to perform well]. It’s my first hat-trick for a while, even for the youth team.
“Any player will tell you it’s nice to score a hat-trick. Hopefully there are many more to come.”
— Ruben Loftus-Cheek (@rubey_lcheek) October 25, 2018
Victory at Stamford Bridge on Thursday took Chelsea six points clear of their three opponents in Group L.
Sarri’s men will now switch attention to remaining unbeaten in the Premier League when they visit Burnley on Sunday.
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