"I just hope, god willing, he gets some results and hopefully that would open a few doors for me, Sol Campbell, whoever. He's a pioneer for the rest of us," Cole told the Independent.
Cole, who intends to begin his coaching badges, should not be dependent on Ince's progress to fulfil his own managerial ambitions, of course, but that is just the game and its attitudes.
"It was no different with one of my heroes when I was younger, Cyrille Regis. I said to him when I last saw him: 'I looked at you and you've made it easier for me to play at the highest level.'"