Derby County boss Frank Lampard heaped praise on Ashley Cole after scoring his first FA Cup goal.
Cole reunited with his former Chelsea and England team-mate Lampard at Derby during the January transfer window after being released by MLS side LA Galaxy.
In just his second appearance for Derby, the 38-year-old came on in the second half in their fifth-round FA Cup tie with Brighton today and scored in the 81st-minute for his new club.
But Cole’s goal was not enough for Derby to seal a quarter-final spot as Brighton emerged as 2-1 victors.
Speaking afterwards though, Lampard expressed his delight with Cole’s progress at Derby since joining last month.
“I am delighted for him,” said Lampard, according to Sky Sports.
“At 38 he could comfortably kick back already, but he has a real desire and humility and work ethic and I thought his performance was good and it will get better because of fitness. To be that high up the pitch and score with his head was a big surprise.
“He has been working hard. He wasn’t quite ready for 90 minutes today but that’s a great exercise he has given 45 minutes.
“I thought he was calm and assured on the ball. He has all the experience from his career and got his goal. It’s really good for us and we will need him.
“He’s been a machine all of his career in terms of fitness and looking after himself. He is as lean as anybody and as long as he has the desire then that’s his call.
“Ashley had officially been off so it was like when you come back for pre-season. You can’t go straight into games so it was crucial we didn’t risk injury for that, but 45 minutes was great for him and now we have a player who is ready to start games.”
6,616 days and seven winners' medals later… pic.twitter.com/NymkFrAyAo
— Derby County (@dcfcofficial) February 16, 2019