Payet ready to battle Cole

France international has recovered from knee injury

By Patrick Haond.   Last Updated: 13/10/11 10:59pm

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Dimitri Payet: Lille winger is now ready to press his claims for a starting place in the team

Dimitri Payet: Lille winger is now ready to press his claims for a starting place in the team

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Lille winger Dimitri Payet is ready to challenge Joe Cole for a starting berth after recovering from injury.

The 24-year-old, who joined the club from St Etienne in the summer, hopes to be in the squad for the weekend's game against Auxerre after returning to full fitness after a knee injury.

In his absence, he has seen Cole make an impact on the team, but the France international is now ready to battle for his place and prove his worth.

Intense

"I have been training since last week and I am available for selection as there has been no reaction from my knee," he told L'Equipe.

"It's not the start to the season that I dreamed of but now that my knee problem has been sorted, I feel a lot better."

On England midfielder Cole's impact on the team in his absence, he added: "He's helped us a lot, he has been decisive. Since the start of the season we all knew that the competition would be intense and that only the best would play.

"When you join a club, you have to deserve and fight for your place. I never complained when I didn't play."

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