- World Cup
Cole: Everyone wants me to fail
Ashley Cole believes "everyone wants me to fail" in his bid to earn a place in England's World Cup squad.
The Chelsea left-back has enjoyed a return to Jose Mourinho's starting XI in recent weeks having spent much of the season behind the naturally right-footed Cesar Azpilicueta.
Cole's England place is under threat from Everton's Leighton Baines - who has established himself as Roy Hodgson's first choice - and Southampton youngster Luke Shaw. But 33-year-old Cole says he also has to contend with public opinion.
"There was probably a lot of pressure on me to fight for my England spot," Cole told beIn Sports. "Maybe not just my starting spot even - just to get on the plane. I think everyone wants me to fail, to be honest.
"Real football fans understand what I bring to a team and what I give to a team and if I do make it on the plane hopefully people can see that.
"But ultimately most people wanted me to fail in Madrid last week, for sure. Maybe people have seen me play for 13 years for my country and have probably had enough of it.
"You look at the players and you have Baines who is playing brilliantly and young Luke Shaw who has done amazing this season so I don't blame them, they've got reasons to, but I'm not done yet."
Meanwhile, Tottenham winger Andros Townsend is undergoing further assessment on an ankle injury that could jeopardise his World Cup spot.
The 22-year-old exploded onto the international stage in October, netting on his England debut against Montenegro before helping overcome Poland as Roy Hodgson's men secured a place in Brazil.
However, Townsend has not enjoyed the best end to the campaign and last started a Premier League match in the 1-0 defeat to Arsenal on March 16. That lack of game time has seen his World Cup hopes weaken and, worse still, the winger sustained an ankle injury after coming on 12 minutes from time in Saturday's 1-0 win at Stoke.
Townsend left the Britannia Stadium in a protective boot and underwent an MRI scan on Monday, with further assessments set for Tuesday.
The Spurs academy graduate has made 33 appearances in all this term, having impressed on loan at QPR at the back end of last season.