Cole delighted to be back

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Chelsea will speed up contract talks with Joe Cole after the midfielder made a triumphant return to first-team action in the 5-0 thrashing of Blackburn on Saturday.

The England midfielder, whose current deal expires at the end of the season, has repeatedly said he wanted to wait until he was back in action before thinking about a new long-term contract. But Cole's successful return after 10 months out injured with knee ligament damage is set to spark Chelsea into offering him a new deal as soon as possible.

"I am very determined to get back to playing for Chelsea and England and today was a good step for me," said a jubilant Cole. "I know all the games won't be like Blackburn but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It was a great win for us."

He added: "Over the years I have learned to be patient with myself and the chances come, especially at a club like this. We have to rotate players, which we haven't done as well over the last three years, and which we could have done.

"Everyone looks fresh and everyone is happy they are all playing games. We look sharp.

"I just try and do my best and enjoy my football. I genuinely love playing the game. It was brilliant just to be out there again. But I enjoyed playing in a more central role - it was the first time in my career.

"I started off playing youth-team football in that position and then moved out to the wing. I just enjoy playing. I am very lucky to play for Chelsea and very lucky to play for England and there is so much to look forward to over the next few months.

"It is a great time. I am so excited about playing football again. Sometimes it takes something like that, when you are out for so long, to make you realise. Every day I go into training is a blessing. I just love it and I am enjoying being back."

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Joe Cole
Blackburn Rovers
Premier League

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