Cole rubbishes his form

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Ashley Cole has admitted he was not on top form during his first season at Chelsea.

The left-back joined the Blues from Arsenal last summer but Cole started just 21 Premier League games last term and at times struggled to overcome Wayne Bridge in the pecking order.

"I was rubbish and I know I played nowhere near the level I can," he told The Sun.

"I have no regrets about joining Chelsea but I have not been at my best.

"Hopefully next season the club will see a better Ashley Cole."

In addition, Cole was hampered by knee problems throughout the campaign and he knows it will not be easy to come back this season and earn his place from Bridge, although he is up for the challenge.

"On the form that Wayne has been showing, he is in front of me," Cole added.

"He's done really well and I will have to fight for my place - which will hopefully make me a better player.

"The fans love Wayne and I think it will be harder to get back into the team and keep playing every week."

Meanwhile, Chelsea have finally been handed a place among the UEFA Champions League's top eight seeds.

Jose Mourinho's side have not made the grade until now having failed to amass enough "coefficient" points.

Seedings are based on the club's performances in Europe over the preceding five years as well as the ranking of their national association.

Now Chelsea have been installed among the top seeds, meaning they will be handed a supposedly easier group stage draw in the coming season.

The new status means they will avoid other top teams until the knockout stages.