Posted on: Mon 27 Nov 2006

Following his high-octane display in Sunday's important draw at Old Trafford, Ashley Cole lifted the lid on a main reason for the team's much improved play in the second-half.

Jose Mourinho, in his post-match press conference, named his left-back as one of two or three players excluded from half-time criticism for their performances in the opening 45 minutes.

The player witnessed the collective gee-up at the interval.

'We knew it would be a tough game and the first-half Man United played really, really well,' said Cole.

'We played not as well as we know we can. At half-time we went in 1-0 down, got a rollicking, came out and showed our guts. We got the goal to give us a good point.'

'For me, he [Mourinho] is a great manager and the way he got the boys up at half-time was brilliant. We then showed that we are good enough to win the title again.'

Despite the Mourinho commendation, Cole found fault with his own first-half contribution.

'We gave the ball away too much and didn't have the width. I probably didn't go as wide as I should have done. The first-half was not like us at all but the second-half we battled well.'

Cole has been engaged in some titanic contests down the wing with Cristiano Ronaldo in recent years, both at club and country level. Sunday's matched them all.

'I think he is one of, if not the best right-winger in the world at the moment because he is so direct,' reckons the Chelsea and England left-back.

'You know if he gets the ball, you are going to have to chase him. But when I play against the better players, it brings out the best in me and I think I am beginning to hit good form.

'I am now feeling part of the team and part of the club and I am enjoying my game.

'We are nowhere near as good as we can be yet. I have played before against Chelsea and we are not hitting our peak form but when we do, watch out!' he warned.

'We know it will be a tough game at Bolton on Wednesday but if we show the desire and passion we did in this game, we know we can get a result.'