Cole plans to make England impact

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Joe Cole insists he can have a major impact for England in Saturday's Group C opener against the United States despite the uncertainty over his future.

Cole ended a 20-month absence from the Three Lions in last month's friendly win over Japan and, after completing his first 90 minutes since February in Monday's victory against local league side Platinum Stars, now looks set to start at the weekend.

"If I get the chance, I will take it," said the 28-year-old.

He will do so against the backdrop of knowing he is no longer wanted by Chelsea and must find a new club before the start of next season. However, Cole is adamant his focus will not be deflected by not knowing where is future lies.

"Pulling on an England shirt against Japan after 20 months out was quite special," he added. "I have always taken pride in my England career. I have acquitted myself as well as anyone over the years. I love the flow and speed of the game at this level. It suits my game."

Cole is confident about his own contribution because he is starting to feel wanted again after making only sporadic appearances for Carlo Ancelotti following his recovery from major knee surgery.

The midfielder has vowed to lift the lid on what really went on at Stamford Bridge at some stage, presumably once England's World Cup campaign is over. But it is clear his startling fall down the Chelsea pecking order came as something of a surprise.

"For the five years before my injury I was more or less a regular for England and all of a sudden people were patting me on the back for getting in a 30-man squad," he reflected.

"I thought I might have run out of time even though I had done all I could. I had made a couple of goals against Stoke and then in the final match against Wigan, people must have thought I was mad because I was running round chasing balls down to the corner. The league was won but I needed to show I was fit.

"What I need in my career is a manager who will give me the feeling that 'you are going to play here', that faith. I don't want to talk too much about Chelsea. That is a story for another day. But this season was very difficult for me. I just want to put it behind me."

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Joe Cole
World Cup

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