COLE SENSES HUNGER FOR THE CUP

Posted on: Fri 26 Jan 2007

There is just one player in Chelsea's medal-laden squad who has played in a winning FA Cup Final. He is Ashley Cole.

 

Though both John Terry and Carlo Cudicini were unused substitutes at Wembley for our 2000 triumph, they have yet to lift the trophy as active participants in the Final.

 

Cole, in contrast, is a serial winner - with a hat-trick of victories in 2002, 2003 and 2005, beating Chelsea on the way on two of those occasions.

 

As they look to take the next step to this year's Final, he recommends it as something his team-mates should try.

 

'It is a great day out for the families, the fans, and I know a lot of the other players are hungry to do that. Even JT has not won the Cup,' Cole says.

'It is a great achievement to go there and lift the trophy and I have been lucky enough to win three times. To progress will be brilliant.'

 

Though Nottingham Forest, with their illustrious past (including two FA Cup wins), look out-of-place when grouped with recent lower league visitors such as Wycombe, Macclesfield and Colchester, Cole still expects Sunday's occasion will have that classic David v Goliath feel about it.

 

'You play the so-called lower league teams and it is sometimes tough,' he reckons.

 

'They come to a bigger stadium with a lot of fans and they come just to enjoy themselves.

 

'They have nothing to lose and their players are going to be really up for the game - and sometimes it is a little banana skin.

 

'But we have got to take it in our stride and focus on our own game. When we play as well as we can, we can beat anyone so it should be a good game for us and a good result for us.'

 

Many eyes will spend a lot of Sunday's game directed at Andriy Shevchenko.

 

With José Mourinho having already confirmed that his two-goal striker from Tuesday night has earned a place in the FA Cup line-up, everyone will be watching to see if the player can build on the Wycombe performance.

 

'When you come to a club you always have expectations and he was a great goalscorer at AC Milan,' says Cole who like Shevchenko was a new arrival in the summer.

 

'So to come here and not score goals, you're bound to be down on confidence a bit. But Sheva was always happy and buzzing in the morning at training and wanting to get on that training pitch and score goals. He is a born goalscorer.

 

'Just because I came from another London club didn't make moving not hard. I have only just settled in so I can imagine what it has been like for him.

 

'The lads love Sheva and Michael Ballack and they seem to have settled in well.

 

'Sheva has just hit two goals and hopefully that will boost his confidence and if he plays on Sunday he can hit some more and start a goal spree. Players play on confidence and he seems to be buzzing with confidence at the moment.'

 

Friday has been a special day for the 'Special One'. José Mourinho is 44-years-old today.

 

Cole only found out this morning and wished his coach Happy Birthday. From a player point of view, he has not noticed recent stories surrounding the club affecting the boss.

 

'He seems very happy. He is always happy and a great laugh around the lads.

 

'Whatever is happening doesn't seem to be affecting him on the training pitch and he has a job to do to get us winning games again.

 

'It is not affecting me. It is down to other people if they have got some differences to try to sort it out.

 

'I am here to play football and whatever is going on behind the scenes I don't think there is anything I can do to change it.

 

'The players try and stay away from all that and let other people deal with it. The results haven't gone too well of late and maybe it is down to that but on Sunday we have the chance to change that and win another game.'