Former Arsenal & Chelsea star Cole delays retirement call to take aim at the Premier League

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The ex-England international is giving no thought to his future at present, with a play-off final date and promotion shot with Derby his sole focus

Ashley Cole is not ready to call time on his playing career just yet, with the former Arsenal and Chelsea defender taking aim at the Premier League again with Derby.

At 38 years of age, the legendary left-back is approaching the end of his playing days.

When the day comes to hang up his boots, he will do so as one of the most decorated performers of the modern era.

Premier League, FA Cup, Champions League and Europa League successes were savoured while with Arsenal and Chelsea, before going on to spend time with Roma and MLS side LA Galaxy.

Cole returned to England in January to link up with Derby on a short-term deal and has helped Frank Lampard’s side to reach the Championship play-off final.

With the Rams now one game away from returning to the top tier, a veteran defender is not ready to make a definitive decision on his future.

Cole told RamsTV ahead of an outing against Aston Villa at Wembley – a venue he knows well from having collected 107 caps for his country: “To be honest I have not really thought about it [retirement] because at the minute it is not about me.

“It is about trying to get Derby County into the Premier League. I have to look at the bigger picture.

“I am lucky enough to play, hopefully, if I make the team. It is unfortunate for Scotty [Malone] to miss out [through suspension], which I am disappointed in. It would have been nice for him to play as well.

“I am happy that I am playing but in terms of me, I don't know. I am trying not to think about that yet. I just want to try and do my best on the day and get Derby promoted.

“Then I will sit down and think about what I am going to do.

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“I don't want to try and put the focus on me and kind of confuse myself. I know how my body feels, I know what I can bring or what I can't bring any more.”

Cole’s last Premier League appearance came back in May 2014, with a 2-1 victory over Cardiff bringing an end to an eight-year spell at Chelsea.

The success he enjoyed at Stamford Bridge was enjoyed alongside Lampard, with his current manager handing him 11 outings across all competitions since his arrival at Pride Park in January.

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