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'We speak nearly every week!' - James reveals Cole influence as Chelsea star prepares for Euros

17:32 BST 10/06/2021
James Cole Chelsea gfx
The Blues full-back is following in the footsteps of his idol after winning the greatest prize in club football

Reece James has revealed that he has weekly briefings with Chelsea and England legend Ashley Cole ahead of his campaign at Euro 2020.

The 21-year-old fullback has been picked in Gareth Southgate's Three Lions squad and is competing for a starting berth against Croatia on Sunday.

It follows winning the Champions League final and, as a Blues fan growing up, he has spoken about learning from and following in the footsteps of a legendary full-back.

What he said?

"When I was young I wasn't always a right back," James said at St. George's Park. "I was a striker. But I've always looked up to Frank Lampard because he played for the club I supported, Ashley Cole similar. So I've always supported the boys who played for the team I supported.

"[With Cole], we speak nearly every week. Probably one of the best left-backs to play the game. Even though he was a left-back the position is basically the same, just on the opposite side. He helps me a lot progressing."

Who will start against Croatia?

James is likely to start in the upcoming opening match for England at Wembley Stadium.

That's because Southgate is largely expected to opt for a more defensive 3-4-3 formation against the toughest team in the group.

Ahead of the clash, James went onto say that the Chelsea players and Manchester City players won't have any hangover from the Champions League final.

"I think winning the Champions League final and playing against such a high-quality team and coming away with the win is going to boost anyone’s confidence but doing it against the Premier League champions gives you a boost as well," he said.

"It's hard to say. Not many people win the Champions League. I knew coming here that we just played against City, they're not going to be happy with the result. We kind of had to be a bit humble with it we couldn't boast and rub it in. We just had to accept it. We know we won.

"Now we're here we’re together as a team with a massive tournament ahead and we need to fight together."

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