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Coley Keeps Ben-Haim Promise


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Joe Cole has kept his promise to send Tal Ben-Haim on holiday if he helped England by getting a result against Russia.

Joe Cole has promised to thank Chelsea pal Tal Ben Haim for rescuing England's Euro 2008 hopes by sending him on an all-expenses-paid holiday... to Clacton-on-Sea.Cole vowed to pay for Ben Haim to put his feet up on a break if Israel beat Russia to keep England in with a shout of qualifying for Euro 2008.And after defender Ben Haim kept his part of the bargain, Stamford Bridge midfielder Cole insisted he will cough up for a holiday - even if it is to Essex, rather than the Caribbean.Cole joked: "I've got him a few brochures for Clacton-on-Sea! I'm sure he'll have a great time."Seriously, I'm a man of my word. It started off as a joke, and he'll probably say I don't have to do that - but I'll send him and his wife somewhere nice."Cole made his promise after England's defeat in Russia last month left him close to tears, fearing that his chances of reaching next summer's tournament in Austria and Switzerland had gone.But after Israel's surprise win over Russia in Tel Aviv on Saturday, England and Cole have been given an amazing reprieve.It is an opportunity he is determined to seize with both hands against Croatia at Wembley tomorrow night.Cole is battling to be part of the England line-up having missing the defeat in Zagreb because of injury. This time he is fit and raring to go, but accepts others are breathing down his neck.Cole said: "I'm doing alright, I'm not at the top of my game - but I'm doing enough to keep my place in the side. But I always think that I could do more. I'm my own worst critic."I want to keep on playing well and add a few things to my game. I'm not far from my peak form. I wouldn't be holding down my place for Chelsea and England if I wasn't playing well and performing."I just want to be better all the time and to improve. I'm looking to put in a good performance on Wednesday night and helping us win."There has always been that massive competition for places in England's midfield."There's Owen Hargreaves, Gareth Barry, Frank Lampard, Stevie Gerrard, Michael Carrick and Shaun Wright-Phillips, who did well when he played. At top-level football, you have to perform and play well." Cole insists England cannot afford to just play for the draw that they need now - because that would be too risky.Croatia boss Slaven Bilic has already led his team to qualification, while England can still slip up if they lose and Russia beat Group E no-hopers Andorra.Cole added: "I think we'll go out to attack the game. Whether we play 4-4-2, 4-3-3 or 4-5-1, it will be to go out with good intentions to win this game."It's a dangerous, dangerous game because Croatia have got nothing to play for."Their players are very good technically and will want to express themselves at Wembley."So we've got the game of our lives here. This isn't a game where we can go in and think we can sneak it and not play well."Each and every one of us has to be seven or eight out of 10 at least and really perform."Apart from 10 minutes in Russia, when we didn't play well, we've performed for the last 10 games. We want to keep that going."Croatia will maybe relax and try and knock the ball around. But it's all about us, really. We have to get in their faces. We just want to qualify. That's the job."Ben Haim is a January transfer target for Newcastle boss Sam Allardyce. The defender has made just seven appearances for Chelsea since his free switch from Bolton, where he shot to fame under Big Sam.
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