The Chelsea midfielder is trying to get back in favour with boss Frank Lampard after being photographed in unsavoury situations this season.
An FA Cup goal on Sunday against Nottingham Forest in his first game since mid-October has helped with his on-the-field reputation. But it is off the pitch where work needs to be done.
Lampard was most upset after Barkley was pictured being escorted to a cash machine by police in order to pay an irate taxi driver in his hometown of Liverpool in September � the night before he was due to train with the team. Barkley said: “It is that ten seconds when you are not looking like a professional, when you have got to let your hair down but then you can’t forget about your job.
“It was unfortunate of me to get caught in that position and it will happen many times to players because you know what phones are like nowadays. “I am just keeping my head down and it won’t happen again.
“It’s a big lesson. You have got to be aware of your surroundings when you let your hair down. It is just more about being with the right company. “When you play in the Premier League, you are a high-profile player, so it is about keeping low-key and switched on. “Nowadays you have to be careful, because everyone is wanting to catch you out.
“When you are on holiday or away, you need the right people around you. “I have made that mistake and it won’t happen again but it will happen to young players in the future. �We all make mistakes but it is about being aware.” Barkley was also filmed dancing topless in a Dubai nightclub in November.
That did not look good but Chelsea were less bothered because he was on club-approved holiday during an international break. Even so, Barkley and Lamps have held talks about professional responsibility and being in the right position off the field. Former Everton ace Barkley added: “Back in the day, players wouldn’t have to think about things like that but you can’t forget people want to make you look bad.
“I am a very professional player but that ten seconds doesn’t make you look professional. “That’s just the way football is now with phones. “You have to adapt to the way things are. “Everyone makes mistakes. When you make mistakes, you have got to learn from them.