Midfielder Cole wants to end career with Chelsea

April 17, 2008

Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole wants to see out his career at Stamford Bridge.

The England star believes Avram Grant's side are on the brink of great things and is ready to pledge his long-term future to the club.

Chelsea face Everton at Goodison Park tonight knowing nothing less than victory will keep their dwindling Premier League title hopes alive.

Grant's men are five points adrift of Manchester United at the top of the table and defeat will virtually hand Sir Alex Ferguson's men the crown for the second successive year.

But Cole is already looking at the bigger picture and said the club has to set its sights even higher.

'If I was to finish my career at Chelsea, I'd be delighted,' he said. 'I have played well this season and it will be my best for the club if we win something.

'But the next five to six years will see the best of me. Hopefully, I will play for a long time because I am not someone who relies on pace.

'I am someone who always puts his heart and soul into every game. I have a great relationship with the fans and it is great to be playing under a manager who really believes in me.

'I think we have to set our sights high. The way the club is at the moment, anything is possible and we shouldn't just be looking to win a league title here and a league title there and maybe one Champions League.

'With the players we have, we should be looking to win the Champions League on a regular basis and many championships.'

However, Cole's desire to remain with Chelsea is not shared by defender Tal Ben-Haim.

The Israel international could be heading for a hefty fine after allegedly claiming he would not have signed for the club if he had known Jose Mourinho would be axed and Grant put in charge.

Grant said: 'It is an internal matter and we will deal with it like this.

'We need to hear from the player first if it is true or not.

'I don't think Jose promised Tal Ben-Haim that he would play before John Terry, Ricardo Carvalho and Alex, but maybe yes. I will ask Tal.

'It is internal business but in my opinion if the player was wrong, we need to deal with it in my way.'

There were further problems for Grant ahead of tonight's game, with Frank Lampard almost certain to be absent.

The England midfielder has been at the bedside of his mother Pat since she was admitted to hospital on Monday suffering from pneumonia.

Grant confirmed Lampard had missed training this week to remain with his family and is unlikely to figure in his plans.

'It is a personal matter with Frank,' said Grant. 'I tell the players all the time that football is very important but sometimes there are things that need to be taken care of.

'This is more important and I understand that. I hope everything will be okay.

'Frank has not been training he has been at hospital with his mum. I know the feeling and it is not good.'

Striker Didier Drogba is also doubtful with a knee injury.