Cole endured a disappointing first season at Anfield after moving north on a free transfer from Chelsea. He was sent off in the Reds' first Barclays Premier League game of last season and within a week missed a penalty in a Europa League tie against Trabzonspor.
The England international started just nine league matches in total and there had been question marks over whether the 29-year-old would be kept on for the new season.
Kop that: Cole's career at Liverpool could be resurrected
But Kenny Dalglish's number two Clarke has been impressed by how Cole has acquitted himself in pre-season so far.
'At the end of last season he was not getting in the team because the team was playing well," said Clarke in quotes carried by a number of national newspapers. But he has gone away, trained hard and had a good summer.
'Joe Cole is a top international player and he has a big contribution to make to the future. He is the same Joe Cole I coached at Chelsea, just a couple of years older and a little bit wiser.
Tough times: Cole has struggled to establish himself at Anfield since moving from Chelsea
'He knows the position he is in. It has been difficult for him because he has not been involved but when he gets the chance it is up to him to take it.'
Clarke felt Cole's continued enthusiasm in training despite his on-field difficulties demonstrated the strength of the character the former West Ham man possesses.
'The better players are always positive,' said Clarke. 'They see the bigger picture and understand what is going on. They understand they have to reach certain levels and when they do that they will get in the team.'
Net result: Clarke says Cole's positive attitude will help him establish a place in the team at Liverpool
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