"Joe can score important goals, ones that can win games, and he can also make a difference when he comes on as an impact player," Venables said.
"He can change games because he's not just a player with a lot of tricks, he does his teamwork, gets stuck in and doesn't shirk anything.
"I've got a lot of time for Joe and I was just hoping he'd be fit and ready in time to be in the running.
"A few weeks ago he wasn't ready and his confidence wasn't quite there, but now he's looking like the Joe Cole we all know.
"I'm pleased he's made it because it must have been a really hard fight for him. Hopefully he's going to get the ultimate reward by making the final 23."