Cole: Sturridge can shine

Sturridge enjoyed a highly-productive loan spell at Bolton during
the second half of the 2010/11 campaign, firing eight goals in 12
appearances. Cole is unsurprised by the 21-year-old’s progress and
has backed him to emulate that success at Stamford Bridge – if he
is given the chance. “I saw Daniel Sturridge recently and look at
what he has done at Bolton,” the England left-back said on
Chelsea’s official website. “I knew what he could do. I’ve seen him
in training and he’s honestly one of the hardest players I’ve ever
had to mark. His movement is unreal. “Hopefully when he comes back
next season he’ll see more opportunities and bang goals in for us
like he has done for Bolton.” Sturridge’s opportunities will be
limited by the presence of the far more established Didier Drogba,
Fernando Torres and Nicolas Anelka. However, reports continue to
place doubt over Drogba’s Chelsea future while Sturridge’s from at
Bolton cannot be ignored by whoever is chosen to replace manager
Carlo Ancelotti. Ancelotti was sacked after the Blues finished
second in the Barclays Premier League and fell at the quarter-final
stage of the Champions League. Cole, however, believes the club
should not be too discouraged by what they achieved last term. “At
the start of the season we played some good football, some sexy
football to be fair,” he said. “Blackpool at home in that first
half was special, but it’s been a tough season. “When we had that
crazy, not even a blip, an unheard of period for any team, everyone
wrote us off and rightly so. “But give us credit for coming back
and it’s an achievement to come second in the Premier League. “That
said, though, we feel as though we should be winning and we want to
win, but second is not bad in this league.” Cole, Chelsea’s
players’ player of the year, expects to continue for at least three
more years as he manages a troublesome left ankle injury. “I don’t
feel 30. We train with a lot of young players and they make you
feel young. I feel good,” he said. “I feel healthy and fit, so I
hope to keep going for a few more years, though it’s hard to say
how long. “I do have a bad ankle and it’s not something which just
goes away so I have to manage it and take it season by season. “But
if I look now and say how I feel, I know I’ve definitely got three
years.”