Garcia says Cole 'improving'

2014-09-13 08:39
Ashley Cole (AFP)

Milan - Roma coach Rudi Garcia has offered Ashley Cole a boost amid reports the former England defender is unsettled at the Serie A side.

Former Chelsea defender Cole played 90 minutes on his Giallorossi debut last week when Roma, last season's runners-up, beat Fiorentina 2-0.

Earlier this week a report in La Repubblica newspaper said Cole was regretting his decision to turn down a number of Major League Soccer sides during the summer.

But Garcia, who has stressed his need for "two quality options for each position" in his four-man defence, said: "I'm happy with Cole - he's improving."

Roma will return to the Champions League for the first time since the 2010/2011 season when they host CSKA Moscow in the sides' opening Group E fixture on Wednesday.

Yet ahead of what will be a busy run of games for the Serie A side, Garcia insists every player in his squad could be given the nod.

"There will be no Roma A and Roma B. I'll pick the team based on what I see in training," added the Frenchman.

"I don't try to calculate everything out in advance, I just focus on the next game. After Empoli, there will be new things to bear in mind for my next line-up.

"We have six games in 17 days but it's a not a problem at the start of the run; they come along after the fourth or fifth game."

Midfielder Kevin Strootman and defender Federico Balzaretti are still both sidelined through injury, although versatile Brazilian defender Maicon is expected to return after missing Fiorentina due to lack of fitness.

Garcia, however, says he will not be taking Empoli -- who last played in Italy's top flight in the 2007/2008 season -- for granted.

"Empoli won't be a pushover and we have nothing to gain since we're down as everyone's favorites," he said.

"They are buoyed by their return to Serie A and will want to turn in a good performance. We have to be careful."

Read more on:    roma  |  serie a  |  ashley cole  |  soccer

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