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  • By Paul Lagan

Loftus-Cheek happy with his World Cup finals debut

Ruben Loftus-Cheek Photo by Paul Lagan

Ruben Loftus-Cheek is set to start for England in their second group stage match, on Sunday, against Panama.

The 22-year-old Chelsea midfielder made his World Cup finals bow last week as a 80th minute substitute for Dele Alli and oversaw England’s late winner in their 2-1 victory over Tunisia.

Loftus-Cheek’s hard work and endeavour forced the late corner that allowed Harry Kane the simplest of chances to head home from close range.

He said: “It was just a natural instinct because when the game is like that, with not long left, you have to try to make stuff happen and take risks, so I just thought I’d go on and be direct.

“I thought we did really well in the first half, we could have scored a few goals, so to keep the faith, stay patient and get the goal at the end was fantastic.‘

“It felt good to play. When you're playing you don't think about it, but afterwards you let it sink in and think you’ve just played at a World Cup. It's crazy.

”We're in this little bubble with our own vision and we're focused, so we don't always see what's going on outside.

“That was mental, beers flying up in the air, it was like a festival. Everyone forgets who they support club-wise and just comes together.”

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