Chelsea's Cole unfazed by six-point gap

January 31, 2007

Chelsea's England defender Ashley Cole insists they can still overhaul Manchester United and win their third successive Premiership crown.

The Blues have reached the final of the Carling Cup and the fifth round of the FA Cup in their last two matches but remain six points adrift of United at the top of the league.

The champions return to Premiership action against Blackburn at Stamford Bridge tonight and Cole insists that while it is nice to be 'cruising' along at the top, sometimes it is better to show your character by coming from behind.

He declared: 'I think that chasing can often bring out the best in people. It's great to be cruising at the top but sometimes you just have to do it this way.

'That's when you prove what character you have and how tight you are as a team and everyone here is very close.

'We know we've got a big fight on our hands to try to overtake Manchester United but we still believe we can do it.

'A good cup run can definitely be a positive influence. The season we did the double at Arsenal we felt invincible which proves that if you have a good run in the cup it can really rub off on your league form and vice-versa.

'It just gives the team the confidence and belief that you're good enough to win absolutely anything.'

Chelsea will still be without captain John Terry and winger Arjen Robben against Rovers but Claude Makelele and Michael Ballack should return after missing the 3-0 win over Nottingham Forest in the fourth round of the FA Cup last Sunday.

Meanwhile stand-in skipper Frank Lampard believes life without Jose Mourinho is unthinkable.

There have been suggestions the Portuguese will quit at the end of the season but the coach insists he wants to see out the remainder of his contract which expires in three years.

Amid all the speculation over the coach's future, there were also stories of dressing room unrest but Lampard said nothing could be further from the truth.

The England midfielder has been linked with a move to Inter Milan but insists he remains a massive fan of 'the Special One'.

Lampard said: 'Jose is a great manager and I love to play under him for so many reasons.

'He has given me lots of confidence and been great for the team. For me, he is a joy to work under and I have a great relationship with him personally, so he's great to work for.

'It's hard to imagine life without him but that's football. This is his third season now but the minute he came in he created a spirit and an atmosphere which is what we needed.

'We didn't have a winning mentality particularly at the club before that and he brought that to us. That is why we have been successful for the last couple of years.'