Joe Cole has declared himself fighting fit and ready to state his case for a place in Kenny Dalglish's first team after returning from Liverpool's pre-season tour of Asia.
The 29-year-old Reds midfielder endured a difficult first season at Anfield after struggling with a series of injuries, limiting him to just a handful of appearances.
But with a full pre-season, and the longest summer break he has ever had under his belt, Cole is determined to put himself in contention for a starting berth in Liverpool's campaign opener against Sunderland on August 13.
"I've been happy with my performances," he said. "This is the longest - six weeks - I've ever had off in the summer during my career so it's nice to get going again.
"Now I just want to get started. I feel great physically. I'm happy with how I'm performing and I want to get a couple of 90-minute run-outs under my belt."
Cole impressed in friendly games against Guandong and a Malaysia XI, and now has his sights set firmly on establishing himself in the Liverpool first-team.
That task has been made even harder with the recent arrivals of Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing. But increased competition for places should help spur every player on in a bid for success in 2011-12.
"There are four weeks until the start of the [Barclays] Premier League so there's still some time to go, but I'm enjoying it," he continued.
"I want to take it day by day. Training has been good. I want to get myself fit and get a little bit better every day."
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