Youngsters Josh McEachran and Gael Kakuta have played more of a part this campaign and Cole believes the club have the right policy but feels the team have paid the price in the short term.
He said: “When you look back, you do miss characters. We lost Ballack, Joe Cole and Deco.
“Ricky Carvalho was great around the training ground and they were all great players.
“But we've started well this season and who knows what can happen. I think, as a club, the main thing is to bring these young guys through because the older guys aren't going to be there forever.
“At the minute it's a good mix and it's nice for the fans to see young guys coming through like Josh, Gael, Jeffrey Bruma and Pat van Aanholt.
“They train with us every day so if there's a time they will come into the team and start to play. I think they'll be good enough and it's only going to help them to gain the experience.”