COLE: KEEP IT UP
Ashley Cole is hoping our recent impressive form will carry us into the festive period, starting with the trip to Wigan Athletic today.
The left-back has been an ever-present in the Barclays Premier League this season, and has experienced both good and bad but believes we are firmly back on the right track following wins against Newcastle United, Valencia and Manchester City in our last three games.
'We've improved,' confirmed the defender, who celebrates his 31st birthday next week. 'With the players and the squad we have it was only a matter of time before things would change. We did have a few bad results but the luck is going our way, as we saw against Man City, maybe they should have had a penalty but it went for us.
'We knew it would turn around and people are starting to come into form and hopefully it's at the right time and we can take those three good results and kick on from there.
'Going off the results, especially the big one against Manchester City we're playing with a lot of confidence now and the belief is back in the team and the manager believes too.
'Three or four good results over Christmas will see us push on because the top teams are losing games.'
His own biggest critic, Cole has not missed a league game since April 2010, a run of 57 consecutive appearances, but he insists there will need to be an improvement in personal form if he is to keep that run going.
'I've been better,' he conceded. 'There are things I know I can do better but as I said, as long as the team is winning that is the main thing, I'm secondary to that. Young Ryan Bertrand has been playing in the Carling Cup and he has done well, he's been out on loan a lot and has experience. His time will come if I get injured, and he needs a chance because that's why he's here.
'On the flip side though you do want to play games, as Lamps has said every player wants to play.
'There are times when we get tired and the body needs a rest as you get older but you still want to play. It can muck up your flow when you stop and you get out of rhythm. I think I've played more than 50 consecutive games in the Premier League and I want to keep going with that and hopefully win something for Chelsea this year.'
Finally, Cole commented on the week's newspaper stories linking him with trouble in the tunnel after the Manchester City game.
'I didn't realise anything had happened until maybe the next day when people were saying I was shouting things at the Manchester City players,' he said.
'Half of them are my friends, and I was going out with them that night! As if I'm going to be doing that!'