Ancelotti ended Cole exit efforts

The England left-back’s personal problems were well-documented and

with ex-Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho having taken charge at Real

Madrid, Cole was linked with a move to the Spanish giants. The

29-year-old, who is under contract until 2013, admits he felt his

future lay overseas. But he discussed matters with Ancelotti, who

told Cole he was still a big part of his plans at Stamford Bridge,

and convinced him not to push through a transfer request. “I don’t

think leaving was ever an actual option,” Cole told Sky Sports

News. “There was a time, in my head, when I thought I needed to

leave England. “But I sat down with the manager and he made it

clear that I wasn’t going anywhere so it was the end of the story.

“I’ve got three years left and if I’m fit and well I hope to see

out my contract here, and hopefully win some more trophies as

well.” Chelsea remain top of the Premier League despite Sunday’s

2-0 defeat at Liverpool. But while Manchester United claimed a

last-gasp winner at home to Wolves to cut the gap at the top of the

table to two points, Arsenal remain five points behind having lost

1-0 at home to Newcastle on Sunday. “I think it could have been

worse,” Cole admitted. “If you look at teams like Arsenal, who are

up there every year, they’re quality, but luckily they didn’t get a

result. “Man United pulled it back last minute and got a good

result, but on Wednesday we’ve got a chance to bounce back now.

“That’s the good thing about football – you have a game straight

away to put out the bad memories. “It’s lucky for us that after a

defeat we’re still top, and that’s where you want to finish at the

end of the season. “It’s still in our hands to keep winning games

and keep pushing on, and Wednesday’s a big test for us to get back

on track.” The Blues host Fulham looking to maintain their flawless

home record having not dropped a point or even conceded a goal in

five Premier League games at Stamford Bridge this season. Brazil

international Ramires was the only new signing over the summer,

while a host of established names moved on after helping the club

win its first Double last term. But Cole feels the current squad is

better equipped for the future. “As a player it’s always nice to

see these young guys coming through like Josh (McEachran), Gael

(Kakuta), (Jeffrey) Bruma and Pat van Aanholt. “They train with us

every day so if there’s a time they will come into the team and

start to play more, I think they’ll be good enough and it’s only

going to help them to gain the experience. “People say about the

old guys but there’s so much experience and they keep going, they

keep working hard in training. Everyone who’s fit is raring to go,

and hopefully we can get a few of our key players back as well.

“When you look back, you do miss characters. We lost Michael

Ballack, Joe Cole and Deco. Ricardo Carvalho was great around the

training ground – and they were all great players. “But we’ve

started well this season and who knows what can happen. “I think,

as a club, the main thing is to bring these young guys through

because the older guys aren’t going to be there forever. “At the

minute it’s a good mix and it’s nice for the fans to see young guys

coming through.”