Hiddink to stick with Cole
Guus Hiddink has severely reprimanded Ashley Cole in the wake of his recent arrest, but will include the full-back against Coventry.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 06/03/09 5:21pm
Guus Hiddink has severely reprimanded Ashley Cole in the wake of his recent arrest, but will not be axing the full-back from weekend action.
Cole, along with Chelsea captain John Terry and young centre-half Michael Mancienne, have all been given a dressing down by their interim boss for breaking a club curfew.
All three were out into the early hours of Thursday morning, with their behaviour making the headlines.
Cole became embroiled in a heated exchange with paparazzi photographers while making his way home, and spent the night in a police custody suite as a result.
While Hiddink admits the incident could not be allowed to pass unnoticed, the Dutchman is prepared to forgive and forget.
"I spoke with Ashley this morning in private," said Hiddink.
"He explained the details of what happened.
"I am a disciplinarian, but every case is different. You have to judge what the circumstances were, and that's why I tackled him on his behaviour.
"He said he was, in his opinion, harassed a little bit by the photographers and that is why he reacted. Afterwards, he regretted that.
"At that moment they are out of the rules which are set by the club to a certain extent before a game. I spoke firmly to him and the captain and Michael Mancienne.
"Ashley will be in the squad for tomorrow. He has publicly apologised about his conduct and behaviour to the police officer, and it is a rather private matter.
"We have an internal discipline, and this is to be considered internal. I have spoken firmly with him about his responsibility.
"There are rules inside this club regarding going out and also discipline, so I had a firm talk with him and the rest of the group about this.
"What is normal and good in this is that he apologised for his abusive behaviour to the police officer.
"He went a little bit too far. This is a country where we like to emphasise big things. The truth has to be told and the facts have to be told.
"If he regrets it deeply and makes his apologies directly then we have to close the case. That is why I tried to go with the daily routine, because we have an FA Cup match tomorrow (against Coventry).
"But they must not repeatedly show conduct which is counter-productive to the team. We, as a club, are talking firmly."