Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole collected a record-breaking fifth FA Cup winning medal and insisted the season has been his best ever in the Premier League.
Cole had been suffering with a niggling ankle injury which affected his form andÂ the ability to make the kind of attacking runs for the Blues on which he built his reputation at Arsenal.
But he produced a stunning performance on the left flank against Everton on Saturday and said: "I can run again because I have no pain in my ankle. I had an operation and they took a piece of my bone away that was floating in my ankle."
He added: "I did it at Arsenal but I didn't want to come to Chelsea and have the operation straight away. It did affect me and I shouldn't have done it. There were times when I didn't enjoy it.
"But I knew that once my ankle was better, I would be able to run. The manager (Jose Mourinho) wanted me to attack, but I couldn't do it. I played in the World Cup with it and I just wanted the injury finished. Now I feel really fit.
"This season though has been the best I've had in the Premier League. Now I am playing with a smile on my face and as a player I think I've improved."
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