Full back no longer the first name on the team sheet.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has told full-back Ashley Cole to fight for his place in the starting XI and is confident that he is enough of a “fighter” to win it back, the Daily Star reports.
The veteran defender recently missed England’s final two World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland with a rib injury, but was back on the bench during Chelsea’s controversial 2-2 draw with West Bromwich Albion at the weekend.
Youngster Cesar Azpilicueta has slotted in at left-back during Cole’s absence and the club have even been linked with a move for Sevilla’s highly rated Alberto Moreno as the England man’s eventual replacement.
But Mourinho still believes that Cole can fight his way back into the starting line up and win his place back.
“I can make mistakes, I can be unfair, for sure I am and for sure I do that, but I always give a lot of thought to my decisions.
“I decided for Azpilicueta to play against Schalke and he was fantastic. On Saturday he was very good again.
“Ashley is a top professional, he is a fighter. He has to work hard, to fight hard because the place (in the team) is his place.
“Of course it is not Azpilicueta’s best position, and it is not a position where Ashley can think that he is in trouble now.
“No, he has to just to work and fight and the position is there waiting for him, no problem.”