Cole raring to go at Anfield
iverpool midfielder Joe Cole feels fit and ready to fight for his place after returning from the club's mini-tour to the Far East. The 29-year-old believes he has benefited from the longest summer break he has ever had and after featuring in friendly wins over Chinese side Guangdong and a Malaysia XI he is looking forward to the start of the domestic season. Cole's future seemed in doubt at the end of last season as he had become a bit-part player under manager Kenny Dalglish with most of his brief appearances coming as substitute. Having arrived on a free transfer from Chelsea last summer the midfielder's high wages were seen as another reason why he would be offloaded in the current transfer window. And with midfield the only area Dalglish has strengthened with the signings of Jordan Henderson, Stewart Downing and Charlie Adam it appears the former England international's opportunities have been limited further. But after a morale-boosting trip to Asia Cole is eager to build on what he has done in his pre-season so far. "I've been happy with my performances," he said. "This is the longest - six weeks - I've ever had off in the summer during my career so it's nice to get going again. "Now I just want to get started. I feel great physically. I'm happy with how I'm performing and I want to get a couple of 90-minute run-outs under my belt. "There are four weeks until the start of the Premier League so there's still some time to go. I'm enjoying it. "I want to take it day by day. Training has been good. I want to get myself fit and get a little bit better every day." First team coach Steve Clarke, who worked with Cole at Stamford Bridge, believes the player still has plenty to offer Liverpool despite a disappointing first season. "At the end of last season he was not getting in the team because the team were playing well," he said. "He's looked good in both matches we've played so far and Joe Cole is a top international player, he's got a big contribution to make in the future. "He's the same Joe Cole (he coached at Chelsea) just a couple of years older and a little bit wiser. "He's always had a fantastic attitude, works hard in training and comes in with a smile on his face because he wants to do well. "It has been difficult for him because he's not been involved but he keeps working hard and when he gets his chance it is up to him to take that chance. "The better players are always positive, they see the bigger picture and understand what's going on. "Although they want to play every game they don't have a divine right to do that, they have to reach levels and when they do that then they'll get in the team, they understand that."
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