Joe Cole still has a "big contribution" to make at Liverpool, according to first-team coach Steve Clarke.
Cole endured a disappointing first season at Anfield after moving north on a free transfer from Chelsea. The England international started just nine league matches in total, but Kenny Dalglish's number two Clarke has been impressed by how the 29-year-old has acquitted himself in pre-season so far.
"At the end of last season he was not getting in the team because the team was playing well," said Clarke in quotes carried by a number of national newspapers. "But he has gone away, trained hard and had a good summer."
Clarke added: "Joe Cole is a top international player and he has a big contribution to make to the future. He is the same Joe Cole I coached at Chelsea, just a couple of years older and a little bit wiser.
"He knows the position he is in. It has been difficult for him because he has not been involved but when he gets the chance it is up to him to take it."
Clarke felt Cole's continued enthusiasm in training despite his on-field difficulties demonstrated the strength of the character the former West Ham man possesses.
"The better players are always positive," said Clarke.
"They see the bigger picture and understand what is going on. They understand they have to reach certain levels and when they do that they will get in the team."
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