7 October 2018

Barkley: We're Serious Challengers  (Sky Sports)

Ross BarkleyRoss Barkley has called Chelsea "serious" challengers to Manchester City and Liverpool for the Premier League title.

Barkley played a starring role as the Blues beat Southampton 3-0 to maintain their impressive start to the season.

Six wins from their first eight games has taken Chelsea to joint-top of the Premier League with Manchester City and Liverpool, although Maurizio Sarri has claimed his team are "a step behind" the other two frontrunners.

Barkley, who is one of the few players in the Chelsea team not have tasted a title success, thinks the squad is more than capable of sustaining a serious challenge.

When asked if Chelsea are title contenders, he told Sky Sports: "We're serious. A lot of the team have already achieved the success of winning the league and that's a goal of mine. Our end goal is to win the league but we're taking each month as it comes to reach our goals and at the moment we're achieving them."

Barkley scored his first goal for the club and assisted for Eden Hazard in Chelsea's comfortable victory at St Mary's.

Since joining for £15m in January, Barkley has found first-team opportunities limited due to injury and the form of his fellow midfielders.

However, since Sarri took over in the summer Barkley has been thrust into the first-team picture, earning his third start of the season at Southampton.

He has already played more minutes in all competitions this season than in the whole of the last campaign and wants to kick-on under Sarri.

"I've had to bide my time," Barkley added.

"I had a difficult time when I first came here with a few little niggles but that was expected after a long-term injury. I've stuck at it, worked hard, believed in myself and I'm showing what I'm capable of. I want to keep improving and scoring goals.

"I've got to back myself and show what I'm capable of and not go into my shell, which I know I do sometimes. I've got to show confidence in my ability which I'm showing right now."

The Soccerlinks Hit List