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Cole warned over England spot

Last Updated: Fri, 15 Nov 2013 12:00
Chelsea

Roy Hodgson has told Chelsea defender Ashley Cole he will have to battle to win his place back in the England side.

Cole has been England's number one left-back for over a decade but has come under increasing pressure from Leighton Baines in recent years thanks to the 28-year-old's excellent form with Everton.

Cole's place in the Chelsea team has come under threat too as he has been on the bench in the last two games, with manager Jose Mourinho preferring to field right-footed Cesar Azpilicueta at left-back.

Hodgson oversaw Cole's move into the 100-cap club earlier this year and insists he has faith in the player, but the England manager also knows he has a plethora of options in his position.

"I'm still very happy to consider Ashley Cole as a potential English left-back," the England manager said. "But the competition for that spot is particularly fierce because Baines is also playing well and on top of that we have Kieran Gibbs and Luke Shaw, two younger players who I think can definitely put these more senior ones under some pressure.

"I would definitely not be concerned, if there were no Ashley Cole or Leighton Baines, about Gibbs or Shaw playing."

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