Cole hopes for fitness boost

Cole has yet to play the full 90 minutes in pre-season friendlies and the Blues’ game at the AMEX Stadium is his final chance to do so.

The 31-year-old reported late to Chelsea training because of Euro 2012 commitments with England but is raring to go for the European champions.

“I feel good to be back in England, I don’t think I am 100 per cent sharp yet, I am probably behind some of the lads by about 10 days so there is catching up to do,” Cole told the club’s official website.

“I feel sharp in the little closing down runs but the longer runs feel a lot harder, especially when you’re trying to repeat them for a longer period, which is what I do in my game, but that will come.

Match practice

“It’s something that only match practice can really fix, you can train as hard as you like, pre-season is a bit like coming back from an injury, but you need the minutes in a game to get your full fitness. I don’t think anyone is ever at peak fitness at the start of a season, you feel your way into it.

“I’ve not played 90 minutes yet this pre-season, so hopefully that will come on Saturday at Brighton, where we have a lot of fans travelling and it will be the first chance for a lot of them to get a look at us.”

Chelsea will begin their Premier League campaign with an away game against Wigan Athletic on Sunday 19th August.

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