Ashley Cole described himself as 'buzzing' after Derby County's Play-Off Semi-Final victory against Leeds United at Elland Road and says he has turned into a Rams fan already.
The 38-year-old defender has been at the club since January after signing a short-term deal as a free agent, but in that time, he said has seen the incredible team spirit in the Rams' dressing room.
As a player who has more FA Cup winners’ medals to his name than anyone else and has won every major trophy in Englis club football, Cole was just as delighted to be part of Derby booking their place at Wembley for the Play-Off Final against Aston Villa.
“It’s brilliant and I don’t think I’ve celebrated on the bench as much as I have for a while,” he told RamsTV following the game.
“I have not played as much as I would have liked to, but I’ve turned into a fan now!
“These players deserve credit for what they have done throughout the season. I’ve only been here for six months but what I’ve seen from these guys, their character, they are great guys and deserve to be in the Final.”
Cole came off the bench in added time at Elland Road, making his 11th appearance for the Rams after two goals from Jack Marriott, Mason Mount and Harry Wilson had given Derby the lead.
Despite heading into the Second Leg down by a goal, the left-back said the belief was there in the squad to turn it around.
He said: “The boys put in a great shift. Before the game we had confidence coming into this game and the boys gave everything today.
“Jack came on and performed brilliantly and so did every player. I’m buzzing for the manager, for the players, and for the club.”
One blemish on the night was that Scott Malone received a red card after a second bookable offence and will miss the Final.
It is Cole who is expected in to fill his place at left-back and is determined to do his team-mate justice at Wembley, a place he has had plenty of experience winning at.
“I’m more disappointed for Scott because whether I play or not, I still would have wanted him to play,” Cole said.
“I’m sad for him that he will miss a great occasion but hopefully I can do him justice and play well and get Derby to the Premier League.”