World Cup 2018: England's Ruben Loftus-Cheek 'not one to fail under pressure'

England midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Loftus-Cheek has two England caps and made 25 appearances on loan at Crystal Palace from Chelsea this season

Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek says he is "not one to fail under major pressure" after being selected in England's World Cup squad.

The 22-year-old only has two caps, having played in friendlies against Germany and Brazil this season.

He spent the domestic season on loan at Crystal Palace, making 25 appearances.

"I feel 100% ready. I have physicality in my game, power and driving with the ball. If I can bring that to the team, it would be fantastic," he said.

"I am not one to fail under major pressure. I have had to deal with it. As a youth player for England, you get used to it and you just carry it on on to the bigger stages and it becomes natural for me."

With an average age of 26 years and 18 days by the time of their opening match against Tunisia on 18 June, manager Gareth Southgate's squad is the third youngest England selection for a World Cup, behind 1958 and 2006.

The 23 players selected have made a total of 449 international appearances - an average of 19.5. Chelsea defender Gary Cahill (58) is the only player with more than 40 caps.

After Tunisia, England play Panama and Belgium in their other group games as they look to improve on poor showings at the last World Cup and European Championship.

Loftus-Cheek, who played the full 90 minutes and was named man of the match on his debut in the goalless draw against Germany in November but came off injured against Brazil later that month, maintains England have a chance of winning.

"It would be stupid to rule us out," said the Chelsea youth product. "We have a really good squad. It is youthful but we are all here on merit and how well we have done this season. In training you see that the talent is frightening. We have a good chance.

"I always aspire to be better and make my game better but I do believe in my ability. Even though it was a friendly, it was still a big stage against Germany at Wembley on my first cap and I like to be excited about those moments.

"This squad is used to playing under pressure. Most of us have not been to a World Cup before, but for me individually, I am just excited about playing at a World Cup. If you enjoy your football, you play your best football."

Asked about his club future, Loftus-Cheek said: "This tournament is too big to be overlooking and not give my full focus on. I will go back to Chelsea for pre-season and will decide when the time comes."

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