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.

COLE: MORE MINUTES NEEDED

Ashley Cole is hoping Saturday’s friendly at Brighton will provide the final match fitness he feels he needs before the season’s competitive start next weekend.

We travel to the American Express Community Stadium to meet former Chelsea man Gus Poyet’s Championship side tomorrow afternoon, in a clash live on Chelsea TV from 2.30pm. Cole is hoping he can play his first full 90 minutes of the summer after reporting back from his holidays a little later than some of his team-mates due to England commitments at Euro 2012.

‘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,’ admitted the 31-year-old. ‘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.

‘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.’

It has been a mixed pre-season so far in terms of results, but as Cole says, it is more about playing football than winning games at this stage.

‘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,’ the left-back said.

‘Then after that it’s the Community Shield, which everyone loves to win to kick off the season, but sometimes people can get carried away with it and think it’s an indicator of what is to come, but it doesn’t work like that, it’s a friendly game really, albeit one that you obviously want to win.’

WISE RESIGNS AS CPO DIRECTOR

Chelsea Pitch Owners have today released a statement regarding former Chelsea captain Dennis Wise. It reads:

Today the board received the following notice from fellow director Dennis Wise:

Dear all,

Ive thought this through long and hard, and Im sad to inform you I have decided to resign as a director of Chelsea Pitch Owners.

I came in to help out the company in what was obviously a difficult time. However, its become clear to me that the role of CPO director has changed a lot since the early days, and perhaps different skill-sets to mine are required.

I genuinely wish you all the best going forward.

Kind regards,

Dennis Wise

I would like to add that the directors are hugely grateful for Denniss contribution over the last eight months. His enthusiasm and clear thinking advice have been very helpful at key moments.

The remaining directors will now carefully consider next steps in appointing Denniss replacement and further announcements will follow in due course.

Steve Frankham

Chair, CPO

Bremen bag De Bruyne

The 20-year-old joined Chelsea in January from Racing Genk, with the plan that he would be loaned out this summer.

De Bruyne will spend the 2012/13 season at Bremen after ending last term on loan at Genk from Chelsea.

Bremen have no option to make the move permanent with De Bruyne highly regarded at Stamford Bridge.

The Belgium international will ironically help fill the void left by Marko Marin’s switch to Chelsea.

Bremen’s general manager Klaus Allofs confirmed the signing of De Bruyne after the Belgian successfully came through a medical.

“We have Kevin for several months,” Allofs told the club’s official website. “We are glad that we can increase the quality in our squad with this commitment.”

De Bruyne was happy to make the move to Bremen for next season, saying: “It’s great the move to Bremen is done.

“Werder has a great tradition, playing in one of the best leagues in Europe with a full stadium and I want, with my new team-mates, successful football.”