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Cole 'very supportive' before England debut, says Shaw

ESPN staff
March 10, 2014 « Mata: I'm not a winger | Chartbeat test »
Luke Shaw looked composed on his debut © PA Photos
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Luke Shaw has revealed how Ashley Cole backed him before his England debut despite their rivaly for a World Cup place this summer.

Chelsea left-back Cole and Southampton's Shaw have given England manager Roy Hodgson a tough choice when it comes to deciding who will join Leighton Baines in the 23-man squad heading to Brazil.

Cole has struggled to get into the Chelsea team this season but, while Wednesday's friendly against Denmark was his first outing in five weeks, he produced an impressive display at Wembley.

It was the 33-year-old's 107th appearance for England and one which ended at half-time with the introduction of debutant Shaw, who seamlessly slotted in at left-back as Hodgson's side secured a 1-0 win.

Shaw, 18, is seen by many as Cole's long-term successor for England - and perhaps even at Chelsea. But the experienced full-back showed no signs of bitterness, which was something of a relief to the boyhood Blues fan.

"He was very supportive and before I came on at half-time he came up to me, gave me a tap on the head and said 'enjoy this experience and have fun'," Shaw said.

"Ashley has always been like that. He is always going to support whoever is playing in his position and it was great for me to hear that from such a big superstar like Ash.

"As a kid, I watched him a lot because obviously I went to the games and to hear that from him was great."

Shaw did not talk for long with Cole but was quick to thank him, Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard for helping him during his first senior call-up.

The teenager was also pleased to have Southampton team-mates Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez around in the squad during a whirlwind week.

"It has been overwhelming and I don't want to stop here," Shaw said. "I want to keep pushing myself, get better and I think Southampton know that as well. They are only going to push me harder.

"It still feels weird. The other day I was saying two years ago I was watching them on TV, so to be on the same pitch as them was a dream come true."

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