Garcia - Cole must step up
Lille coach Rudi Garcia has challenged Joe Cole to rise to the test and perform his best every week.
By Patrick Haond
Last Updated: 03/09/11 10:38pm
Lille coach Rudi Garcia has challenged Joe Cole to rise to the test and perform week in week out for the French outfit.
Cole was one of the surprise exits from the Premier League during the transfer deadline day drama after the Liverpool midfielder opted for a season-long loan in Ligue 1.
The 29-year-old England playmaker had been in talks with Aston Villa but decided to make the unpredictable move abroad.
And Garcia is under no illusion that injury-plagued Cole has to prove his worth at his new club and settle in quickly.
"The question is on (an) athletic level. I believe he only played 90 minutes once during the last eight months. What I like is the fact the last season was difficult for him. It is always good to have a player with very big desire," he told French newspaper L'Equipe.
"His arrival allowed us to change our tactics system. I didn't promise him anything about his time in the team. It is not my habit. The best will play. It is up to him to go back to work quickly."
Les Dogues tactician also told the newspaper that Brazilian striker Tulio De Melo will miss between four and six weeks with a shin injury after suffering a set-back in recovery.
The 26-year-old is yet to feature for the defending champions in this year's Ligue 1 campaign.