Ross Barkley says missing England's World Cup run was 'frustrating'
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By Liam Grace
Last Updated: 10/10/18 11:31am
Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley says not being selected in Gareth Southgate's World Cup 2018 squad was "frustrating".
England defied expectations to reach the semi-finals in Russia, and while the 24-year-old is proud of his nation's achievements, he admits that being overlooked was tough because it "means the world" to him.
Barkley, who has 22 England caps, endured a difficult 2017/18 campaign, making just five appearances across all competitions as he struggled with a hamstring injury.
However, the former Everton man has been given more of an opportunity under Maurizio Sarri and has made seven Premier League appearances so far this season - scoring his first Chelsea goal in Sunday's 3-0 win over Southampton - prompting an England recall.
"It was frustrating for me because England means the world to me, to play for your country, but these things happen in football and you have to react and work hard to get your rewards, which I am doing," Barkley said.
"I was proud to see the lads do really well and see how proud the country was of the boys.
"After where I was at, I had had a difficult season through injuries and I had a few niggles but kept a positive mind. I had a strong pre-season and things are going well for me now."
Barkley's impressive form this season has seen him compared to England legend Paul Gascoigne, but he was quick to play down the compliments.
"All of the midfielders will be thinking that," he added. "It is a challenge for us to go out there and produce the goods as Gazza did when he was a player.
"We have a lot of talent in the squad that can produce magic at any point in the game and we have a confident bunch of lads and there is a lot of talent coming through."