Belfast Telegraph

Cole can still fire: Lambert

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert is convinced former England international Joe Cole still has the fire in his belly to make an impact in the Barclays Premier League.

The 32-year-old midfielder swapped West Ham for Villa Park last month when he agreed to become part of Lambert's new-look set-up.

Precocious as a teenager, Cole has won 56 senior England caps during a career which has taken him from Upton Park via Chelsea, Liverpool and Lille to Villa, but which has run rather dry in recent seasons.

However, Lambert is convinced he still has what it takes to succeed at the highest level.

He told the Birmingham Mail: "As soon as you start to lose the fire from your stomach as a footballer, there's no point.

"He still wants to do really well and he's still hungry to do really well. That's a sign of a top, top player.

Lambert added: "If you have still got the attributes at that age that you had when you were 16 or 17 starting out, you will not go far wrong.

"He can make things happen. If he can perform the way I know he can, then we have got a really good player on our hands."

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