21st Nov, 2017

Joe Cole makes Sky Blues debut in Rochdale goalless stalemate

Steve Carpenter 21st Oct, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

ENGLAND star Joe Cole has hinted he may remain at the Ricoh Arena for the ‘long term’ after making his eagerly anticipated Sky Blues debut during the goalless draw away at Rochdale.

The 33-year-old started in midfield for Tony Mowbray’s side at the Spotland Stadium on Tuesday night and impressed before being substituted shortly before the hour mark.

It was Cole’s second competitive start this season and the former Chelsea star had two chances to score on his return but hit both efforts narrowly wide of goal.

Cole was delighted to be back playing football but insists it will take a few games for him to find his feet in League One.

“I’ll slide them in when I get going and I’m looking forward to keeping at it,” said Cole, who has initially signed on a 35-day emergency loan.

“That’s important to get rid of the ring rust. The plan was to come in and work hard and I literally trained once with half the team, but I’m really enjoying my time here early on.

“There’s a lot of quality, we’ve got some exciting young players. All the good sides I’ve played in have created chances as long as you’re creating them we’ll stick them away eventually I’m sure.”

“I’m impressed, it’s nice to play for points and I want to be here for the long term. There are very good players down here, the Premier League is at its strongest and it filters down, I’m excited for the challenge.”

The Sky Blues had chances to come away from Rochdale with all three points but on a rare occasion in-form striker Adam Armstrong failed to find the back of the net.

The 18-year-old was put clean through on goal on 11 minutes but scuffed his shot wide and shortly after the re-start Armstrong again found himself one-on-one with the Rochdale goalkeeper but again did not do enough to beat Josh Lillis.

Mowbray was left disappointed after being made to settle for a second consecutive goalless draw but he is pleased with the impact Cole is having on his young side.

He added: “It was disappointing and frustrating because we had about four one-on-one’s throughout the game but couldn’t finish it off.

“I thought Cole did really well and actually did a lot better than I thought he would. He hasn’t played a lot of football over the last year and I was really impressed.

“He really pressed them when they were on the ball and if anything, probably ran around a bit too much. He was eager to get after it and create for the side.

“He’s been a fantastic character in the dressing room and he’s had a great impact on the lads. With more match practice, he’ll only get better for us.”

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