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."

Arts & Entertainment
Ricky Gervais at a screening of 'Muppets Most Wanted' in London last month
tvRicky Gervais on the return of 'Derek' – and why he still ignores his critics
Sport
Gareth Bale dribbled from inside his own half and finished calmly late in the final to hand Real a 2-1 win at the Mestalla in Valencia
sport
Life & Style
Infant child breast-feeding with eyes closed
healthTo stop mummy having any more babies, according to scientists
Arts & Entertainment
James Franco and Chris O'Dowd in Of Mice and Men on Broadway
theatreReview: Of Mice and Men, Longacre Theatre
VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
news
Life & Style
Going down: Google's ambition to build an elevator into space isn't likely to be fulfilled any time soon
techTechnology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Arts & Entertainment
film
Sport
Vito Mannone fails to keep out Samir Nasri's late strike
sportMan City 2 Sunderland 2: Goalkeeping howler allows Man City to scrap a draw – but Premier League title is Liverpool's to lose
News
David Cameron sings a hymn during the enthronement service of The Most Rev Justin Welby as Archbishop of Canterbury, at Canterbury Cathedral last year
news
Life & Style
From long to Jong: Guy Pewsey gets the North Korean leader's look
fashionThe Independent heads to an Ealing hairdressers to try out the North Korean dictator's trademark do
Extras
indybest10 best smartphones
Arts & Entertainment
tvCreator Vince Gilligan sheds light on alternate endings
Life & Style
Google Doodle celebrates the 63rd anniversary of the Peak District National Park
tech
News
Paul Weller, aka the Modfather, performing at last year’s Isle of Wight Festival in Newport
people
Life & Style
Michael Acton Smith founded Firebox straight out of university before creating Moshi Monsters
techHe started out selling silliness with online retailer Firebox, before launching virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Energy Consultant – Building Management

up to £45,000 + benefits: The Green Recruitment Company: Our Client The Green ...

Senior Industrial Energy Consultant

Up to £45,000 + benefits: The Green Recruitment Company: Our Client The Green ...

Mechanical Building Services Energy Engineer

up to £45K basic + benefits: The Green Recruitment Company: Our Client The Gr...

Building Services Energy Engineer

up to £45K basic + benefits: The Green Recruitment Company: Our Client The Gr...

Day In a Page

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit
Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics

Is sexual harassment a fact of gay life?

Westminster is awash with tales of young men being sexually harassed - but it's far from being just a problem in politics
Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith: The man behind a British success story

Moshi Monster creator Michael Acton Smith

Acton Smith launched a world of virtual creatures who took the real world by storm
Kim Jong-un's haircut: The Independent heads to Ealing to try out the dictator's do

Our journalist tries out Kim Jong-un's haircut

The North Korean embassy in London complained when M&M Hair Academy used Kim Jong-un's image in the window. Curious, Guy Pewsey heads to the hair salon and surrenders to the clippers
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part
Vespa rides on with launch of Primavera: Iconic Italian scooter still revving up millions of sales

Vespa rides on with launch of the Primavera

The Vespa has been a style icon since the 1950s and the release this month of its latest model confirms it has lost little of its lustre
Record Store Day: Independent music shops can offer a tempting alternative to downloads

Record Store Day celebrates independent music shops

This Saturday sees a host of events around the country to champion the sellers of well-grooved wax
Taunton's policy of putting philosophy at heart of its curriculum is one of secrets of its success

Education: Secret of Taunton's success

Taunton School, in Somerset, is one of the country's leading independent schools, says Richard Garner
10 best smartphones

10 best smartphones

With a number of new smartphones on the market, we round up the best around, including some more established models
Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

Mickey Arthur: Aussie tells ECB to stick with Ashley Giles

The former Australia coach on why England must keep to Plan A, about his shock at their collapse Down Under, why he sent players home from India and the agonies of losing his job
Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal