Lampard is adamant that Cole is playing as well as ever and is ready to respond to the challenge that Baines is providing.
He told the London Evening Standard: “No-one should certainly write Ashley off. He’s a fantastic player and for me has been the best in the world over the last decade at left back.
“At Chelsea we have a very full squad with quality players all around and it doesn’t matter what position you’re in, whether it’s Ashley, myself, John Terry or Fernando Torres, there is always competition. The manager is right to use that squad, but it makes no difference - Ashley is and will remain one of the best left backs in the world.
“He’s taken to not playing at Chelsea for the last few games and the challenge from Leighton in the best way. The best players, the ones I know, always take things like this the right way and I’ve had no reason to speak to him about it because he’s trained hard.
“People are talking about Ash sitting on the bench for Chelsea or competing with Leighton, but we should certainly not get on the negative side of it.
“Whatever your position is in the England team, you have to face that and that is what makes his achievements so incredible. Of the 105 caps, he’s started all but one and that’s unbelievable considering he’s had challenges along the way."
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