Ross Barkley confident of rediscovering best form

Wednesday 18 Mar 2015
Ross Barkley featured in the win over Scotland last November

England midfielder Ross Barkley says he will not compromise his playing style, despite acknowledging a "tough season".

The Everton ace scored his second goal of the season on Sunday as Roberto Martinez's side beat Newcastle United by 3-0 at Goodison Park in the Premier League.

And after missing most of the first half of the campaign through injury before easing his way back into action this year, he is confident his ability and upbringing will bring a full return to form.

Everton

Ross Barkley has been back in the Everton line-up of late

"I know I haven’t been at my best, but the gaffer will give me confidence in training, saying he knows what we are capable of," revealed the former Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds loanee.

"I am always going to try and want the ball. That is the way I have been brought up through the academy.

"Even if I make a mistake, I will keep wanting the ball because I know eventually things will click together and I will create chances and the goals will come.

"All the backroom staff and the more vocal lads in the team like Gareth Barry, Jags [Phil Jagielka], [Leighton] Bainesy – all the older lads in the team, the most experienced ones, they help us because they have all been through similar experiences before in their careers. Listening to what they say helps us."

Barkley proved to be one of last season’s top players in the Premier League, after bursting onto the scene and becoming a regular under Martinez.

His form saw him become a permanent fixture in Roy Hodgson’s England squad and he went on to feature in last summer’s World Cup in Brazil, less than a year after previously playing in the U20 World Cup in Turkey.

But Barkley admits he has found it harder this term, with teams often setting up differently to deal with his mercurial skill and off-the-cuff creativity.

"It has been a tough season for me. I am still learning and I am still a young lad," he added.

Ross Barkley scored his second goal of the season on Sunday

"Because last season was my first full season in the Premier League, then maybe no-one really knew about me.

"Maybe this season, they know part of my game and it is up to me to learn and adapt to that. 

"If people think they know what I am going to do, I have to come up with something different and have other options.

"But hopefully this season will be a good experience for me."

Barkley, who is still young enough to feature for Gareth Southgate’s Under-21s, could be named in Hodgson’s squad to face Lithuania and Italy on Thursday.

There are tickets for the Wembley clash with Lithuania still remaining. Click here for more details.

By Nicholas Veevers