Cole expected to face QPR

Cole has been out of action for eight months due to a cruciate knee ligament injury.

The England international is expected to start against QPR in the Carling Cup on Wednesday.

He said in The Sun: “I’ve really missed my football and it has been hard to watch the team.

“But I’m 27 now and have been through everything in my career, so mentally I was able to stay strong and deal with it by keeping busy.

“Two years ago I missed the whole season with two different injuries but this has been the longest absence of my career in one whack.

“But it never drove me mad as I realised just how lucky I am to be a footballer, even an injured one. I came in to training every day and tried to keep a smile on my face.”