Cole primed for Blues return - Ancelotti

24 April 2010 08:03
Carlo Ancelotti insists Ashley Cole is mentally ready to return to first-team action at Chelsea after months of injury and personal turmoil.[LNB] The 29-year-old has recovered from the broken ankle he sustained against Everton back in February but his marriage to wife Cheryl remains in trouble following lurid headlines.[LNB]Cole was back in the squad for the defeat at Tottenham last weekend but remained an unused substitute.[LNB]There is every chance he could make a playing return against Stoke on Sunday as Chelsea prepare for another massive weekend in the title race.[LNB]"I think he passed a bad moment because the injury was very serious," said Ancelotti.[LNB]"But he has had time to recover very well, not only physically but also with a good mentality. Now he's fit 100%.[LNB]"I think that he is focused, 100%, on playing football. Nothing else."[LNB]Chelsea will be without suspended captain John Terry and injured midfielder John Obi Mikel against Tony Pulis' side.[LNB]The Blues are one point clear of Manchester United at the Barclays Premier League summit but that could have all changed by the time the Blues take the field.[LNB]A United victory over Spurs at Old Trafford this lunchtime will pile the pressure back on Chelsea.[LNB]But Ancelotti reckons his players are ready to finish the job and become champions by winning their remaining three games.[LNB]"I've always said we have a very good squad, not only technically but with a good mentality," added the Italian.[LNB]"Sometimes we've lost some games but I think that now we have all the quality to finish the season well - technically and physically, but also mentally.[LNB]"The players are fresh. They don't have a problem. We looked a bit tired against Tottenham, but it was not a physical problem. We've trained very hard this week.[LNB]"The players are fit. When I say this, I am objective."[LNB]Chelsea have put contract talks with a number of players - including Michael Ballack, Joe Cole and Nicolas Anelka - on hold until the end of the season.[LNB]But Ancelotti does not believe their futures depend on what silverware arrives at Stamford Bridge.[LNB]"Absolutely not," he added. "Now we are involved in important competitions, but we will take a decision at the end of the season.[LNB]"We have time. The season will finish on May 15 and we will start in July. So we have two months to make a decision on contracts. It's not dependent upon winning the league."[LNB]Chelsea have already been linked with new players in the summer, so Ancelotti took time out to announce five new additions to his squad for next term.[LNB]The Italian revealed he will elevate Jeffrey Bruma, Gael Kakuta, Fabio Borini, Nemanja Matic and Patrick Van Aanholt from the club's academy ranks - and admitted some current first-team players may move on as a result.[LNB]"The only sure thing will be that, next season, there will be five players from the academy in the squad," Ancelotti said. "Some players will maybe move on.[LNB]"It's not because we don't have the money. It's because we want to give strength to our academy.[LNB]"We have very good young players and this is the time to put them in the squad for next year. They are able to stay in Chelsea's squad."

Source: Team_Talk