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Departing Chelsea star Joe Cole: I was happier under Mourinho

Departing Chelsea winger Joe Cole admits he struggled under manager Carlo Ancelotti last season.

Cole's campaign was hindered by injury, but he concedes he enjoyed himself more playing for Jose Mourinho.

"When I finally came back from injury it was stop-start. There was a period in January when the boys went away for the Africa Cup of Nations and I felt I was back to my best. I was making goals on a regular basis. But when the boys came back the manager changed it round again and you lose the continuity you need when you're returning from injury. You need five or six games playing 90 minutes.

"Jose Mourinho had a lot of faith in me. Under him, I played more than Robben, Duff, Wrighty, Malouda, Mutu, Gudjohnsen. I played in all the big games. Even in the first year I played more than them. I know because I have looked at the stats."

He knew his time at Chelsea was coming to an end under Ancelotti. But he also knew time was running out to convince Fabio Capello he was worthy of a place in the World Cup squad.

He had to make the most of the few chances Ancelotti gave him, and it explains why he put in so much effort after coming off the bench. Even when the eventual champions had the points in the bag, Cole had England on his mind.

In 1966, when World Cup players had to be under contract, Bobby Moore had refused a new deal at West Ham. So England boss Alf Ramsey sent for Hammers chief Ron Greenwood and Moore was persuaded to sign - for a month.

"It got to the point where I was coming on for 10 or 20 minutes and thinking, 'I've got to f****** do something'," he said.

"I thought I might have run out of time with this tournament. There was the Wigan game and the game against Stoke before that. We might have been five up or something but I went on and made a couple of goals. I'm sure people were wondering what I was on. That I was mad running round, chasing balls down to the corner. I knew we had the league won but I needed to show I was fit.

"It's not easy when you're trying to impress someone, but I wanted to do something to get in the squad. Now I'm here I can relax a little bit.

"But it's funny, though. For the five years before my injury I was more or less a regular for England but suddenly I've got people patting me on the back for getting in a 30-man squad. It was great but then I wanted to get in the 23 and now I want to be in the 11."

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Tribal Football Staff

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