Football: Cole ready to make fresh start

International football: Manchester United striker in no mood for contrition before England's meeting with France

GLENN HODDLE may have forgiven Andy Cole in the dying days of his England reign but the Manchester United striker was in no mood to return the gesture as he rejoined the international fold yesterday.

In November Cole had responded to Hoddle's repeated assertion that he wasted too many chances by choosing the front page of The Sun to label the former national coach "a coward" for not picking him.

Yesterday he professed neither joy nor sadness at Hoddle's sudden departure but he did say that, in a similar position, he would react the same way again. Cole said: "I've no regrets. I stick by what I said. I was disappointed. I felt it was getting personal.

"I'm not bitter towards Glenn Hoddle. That was his opinion and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I would speak out again. People think it is wrong if a player does that but it is freedom of speech.

"I don't say a lot and when I do it is because something hurts me. I don't usually follow the papers but I was going to my nephew's birthday party and the missus [his girlfriend, Shirley] said, `Can you get a newspaper.' I turned to the back page and there it was.

"When things like that happen the people you take it out on are your family and I had a barney with the missus for a couple of days. When I decided to [do the article] she said `go ahead and do it'.

"Alex Ferguson did not know about it and he did not say anything afterwards. He looks upon me as a 27-year-old man with a family [he has a three-year- old son, Devante] who can look after himself. Everyone was surprised because it was a bit of an outburst from me. People know I don't speak a lot; my football does the talking for me. I've been described as being moody, sullen and dull but I am just a quiet chap."

Cole, 27, later said he was not too good with "the PR stuff" but, whether calculated or not, yesterday's interview was an impressive piece of rebranding. He was loquacious yet thoughtful, prepared to indulge in both banter and mild soul-searching.

The striker admitted he was surprised to be recalled but said Ferguson and his United team-mates had told him not to give up hope. As for Hoddle's criticism, he said: "I do get a lot of chances and I'm not going to take them all. If I did I would be getting 40 goals a season and that can't be done. I score my fair share and I miss my fair share.

"If I get two chances at international level and put one away I'll be delighted. But I might get more chances. I'm the kind of player who makes chances for himself."

Cole does not expect to start against France tomorrow night but it would be a surprise if he was not involved in some way. Howard Wilkinson, the caretaker coach who saw Cole score twice at Nottingham Forest on Saturday, intimated that, given the recent exchanges between Cole and Hoddle, it would be helpful if he were.

Wilkinson added: "He and Dwight Yorke have developed a terrific relationship, their movement, their understanding of each other, link-up play, touch and perception are excellent. Andy combines better with other people now. There was a time when he was seen as just a finisher. Now he gets involved in making things for himself and others and helping the build-up of the team."

Cole has made two previous appearances for England, both as a late substitute. He had 19 minutes against Uruguay at Wembley under Terry Venables in March 1995, and 14 minutes against Italy in Le Tournoi under Hoddle in June 1997. He hit the bar when he should have scored against Uruguay, pulled out of the next squad through injury and was never summoned by Venables again. Hoddle was prepared to give him a second chance, against Chile a year ago this Thursday, but he withdrew again, with a thigh injury, on the morning of the game. He figured in the next two squads without playing and was dropped in May.

Since his last international he has scored 43 goals for Manchester United at roughly two every three games. "A lot of it is to do with the team playing so well," Cole said. "I've struck up a very good understanding with Dwight. I spoke to him when he was thinking of coming to United and I was the first person to tell him to come.

"I never thought he would be a threat to me. Every season I am supposed to be leaving and I am still there. I scored 26 goals last season and I was still supposed to be leaving.

"We get on really well, on and off the pitch. We haven't worked on it a lot. When he first came I wasn't in the team. But in training the boys say we never pass to anyone else."

Cole's ambition for the match is to enjoy himself. Long-term it is to keep on learning. He, too, feels he is a much better player than in his Newcastle days and is glad his all-round game is now being recognised.

"I have nothing to prove to anybody but myself," he concluded. "You always have to prove some things to yourself and I want to prove I can do it at international level."

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleMemoir extracts show iconic designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam