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Cole craving England starting spot
Published : 09 Jun 2010 12:44:00
Joe Cole hopes his experience can win him a place in the England team on Saturday and says his club future is "a story to be told another day". The midfielder was speaking at a press conference in Rustenburg on the day it was confirmed he will leave Chelsea following the end of his contract this month. Cole's future has been the subject of ongoing speculation throughout the season and it became increasingly evident the two parties would not be able to reach a deal. He said: "I'm just focused on the World Cup at the moment, I'll leave that sort of thing to my agent. "My future will sort itself out. It's been going on a while. It's a story to be told another day." Cole was one of the players whose place in Fabio Capello's final squad looked in doubt but he is now being talked about as a possible starter against the United States on Saturday. The 28-year-old is one of three players, along with Ashley Cole and David James, preparing for their third World Cup, and it is that experience that Cole believes could work in his favour. "Managers like experience, especially at the start of tournaments," he continued. "It's a great feeling. I remember going to Japan as a youngster and it was all new but I've still got that energy and I still love it and I love coming away to these tournaments. "It would mean the world to me to play against America and play in a third World Cup." Cole was England's star performer at the last World Cup in Germany but his failure to hold down a regular spot in the Chelsea side following a serious knee injury suffered in January 2009 meant he lost his place in the squad. And the 28-year-old revealed he did doubt whether he would feature in South Africa, although he always expected to win back his England place at some point. He said: "It's tough for the manager to pick a player who's not playing regularly, rightly or wrongly, at club level but I've always felt like I've acquitted myself well for England. "I enjoy international football, I like the pace of the game. It crossed my mind I might not make it to this tournament but certainly I never thought it was over. "And now I've got into a position where there's a chance I might be playing so it's fantastic." Cole also dismissed doubts over his form after a difficult season at Stamford Bridge. "There were times last season at Chelsea where I got back to my best, when I had four or five games in a row in January," he continued. "Players like me, I need to play games continuously. "But I'm back to my best and I want to show it at this World Cup and play better than I did at the last World Cup." Cole scored in England's final warm-up match against the Platinum Stars on Monday, when he was the only one of Capello's squad to feature in both halves, but the main talking point was the behaviour of Wayne Rooney. The striker was booked for dissent in a combative performance and there have been suggestions USA will target England's talisman in an effort to get him to see red. Cole, though, is confident the Manchester United man will keep his head. "Wayne's an experienced player," added the midfielder. "I'm sure there's been loads of team that have tried to do it to him in the past. He'll be okay and it'll be no problem."