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Conor Gallagher says he has been assured he is a key player for Graham Potter

Conor Gallagher scored his first Chelsea goal in their 2-1 win at his former club Crystal Palace (Adam Davy/PA)
Conor Gallagher scored his first Chelsea goal in their 2-1 win at his former club Crystal Palace (Adam Davy/PA)

Conor Gallagher says new Chelsea manager Graham Potter has told him he has an important role to play at Stamford Bridge.

Gallagher has not started either of Potter’s first two matches in charge, but he came off the bench on Saturday to score a dramatic winner against former club Crystal Palace.

“He said I’ve got a really important role and I need to keep working hard, remembering who I am and what I am best at, and when given the chance to be as effective as I can be,” Gallagher told the Chelsea website about his initial discussion with Potter.

“I just need to keep impressing the manager. There’s a lot of top players in the Chelsea squad so it’s not going to be easy to get the game time I want.

“But I’m going to do my best to show that I’m ready and I want to be as effective as I can when given the opportunity.”

Gallagher, who was omitted from Gareth Southgate’s England squad for their final Nations League games ahead of the World Cup, had a hugely successful loan spell at Palace last season.

The 22-year-old returned to Selhurst Park to haunt Palace as his superb 90th-minute strike gave Chelsea a 2-1 victory, and secured Potter’s first win.

Gallagher said: “When I was on the bench I was thinking please just get me on, I’ve got a feeling.

“As soon as I got that half-a-yard I was thinking just shoot and as soon as it left my boot, I was thinking it has a chance.

“It is a special moment for me to score my first goal for Chelsea, an amazing feeling, it is a boyhood dream of mine, and of course it had to come against Palace.

“To score my first goal is massive, just to get that confidence back up a little bit and hopefully I can push on now.”