Ashley Cole discussed changes to the method of Chelsea’s play this season following his part in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Newcastle at Stamford Bridge.
Roberto Di Matteo previously spoke of a degree of alteration with new players coming in rather than a complete revolution and the left-back, following three league wins out of three, confirmed some differences which appear to be working smoothly.
‘We have lost Didier Drogba who was a big powerhouse up front for us so sometimes we used to knock the ball up to him,’ said Cole, ‘but now we have signed a few smaller players so we have to get the ball down and play a bit more, and the second goal against Newcastle was a fantastic team goal.
‘We had maybe 10 or 15 passes and we stayed patient and in the end it was a great finish by Fernando.
‘It was hard for Fernando last season to get many games,’ he added, ‘but when he did play he worked hard for the team and now he is the main man he is full of confidence after the European Championships, and he scored great goal.’
Key to the nine-point opening to the league campaign has been Eden Hazard who now has six assists to his name as well as scoring his first Chelsea goal from the penalty spot against Newcastle.
‘I had to mark Eden when England played Belgium and I saw how dangerous he was,’ said Cole.
‘I said to the boys after the game this player is going to do well in the Premier League and so far he has. There is still a long season to go but the effort and the commitment and what he has done for the team so far has been brilliant. He deserves a lot of credit for the great start we have had and hopefully he can keep doing it throughout the season.
‘Before the game we were aware that we had not beaten Newcastle since 2007 at home so that was something we wanted to rectify and it was a great team performance. People like Eden, Juan Mata and Fernando worked non-stop for the team and it was a great result for us.
‘It is not just winning, we are playing some good football with it as well and the way we are doing it is very enjoyable to play in.’