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Cole turns focus to Premier League

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Midfielder Joe Cole shrugged off Chelsea's 2-2 Champions League draw with APOEL by insisting Carlo Ancelotti's side must instead concentrate on staying on top of the Barclays Premier League at the start of 2010.

Chelsea, already Group D winners before Tuesday night's draw with the Cypriot minnows, have seen their lead in the English top flight whittled down from five points to two by Manchester United. The Blues entertain Everton on Saturday and will go into the game without a win in their last three outings.

"It has been a bit of a bumpy week and we need to bounce back at the weekend and get back to winning ways," declared Cole. "Hopefully we can do that on Saturday."

More defensive lapses cost them victory against APOEL at Stamford Bridge with John Mikel Obi guilty of a stray pass that allowed substitute Nenad Mirosavljevic to score an 86th-minute equaliser.

The Cypriots had taken the lead in the sixth minute through Marcin Zewlakow - the first goal Chelsea had conceded at the Bridge since Hull's Stephen Hunt hit the net on the opening day of the domestic season back in August.

Goals from Michael Essien and Didier Drogba then put the Blues in command by half-time until Mikel's error allowed Ivan Jovanovic's side to cash in, much to the fury of Ancelotti.

The focus now returns to the Premier League and Cole insists Chelsea need to be at the top when the new year arrives.

The Blues have three home games against Everton, Portsmouth and Fulham with two tricky away contests at West Ham and Birmingham before the end of the year, and Cole says they could not be more important.

He added: "The next five Premier League games are very important. The Christmas period is always vital. We want to still be sitting on top of the league at the start of January. If we do that we'll be very happy.

"Any team can beat you in the Premier League and it's very difficult to win games. There are no excuses. We're sitting on top of the league now and need to be sitting there on January 1."

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Portsmouth
Didier Drogba
Joe Cole
European News
Fulham
Football
Stephen Hunt
Chelsea
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Manchester United
Everton
John Obi Mikel
Birmingham
Hull City
Stephen Hunt
Michael Essien

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