• Left-back 'didn't play as well as I could' under Mourinho before
• 'We owe it to him to win the title or the Champions League'
Ashley Cole has insisted he still "owes" José Mourinho having failed to demonstrate his best form under the Portuguese during his previous spell in charge of Chelsea, with the England defender hoping to prolong his career at Stamford Bridge beyond the end of the season ahead.
Cole made a rare appearance in front of the media as Chelsea's touring squad arrived in Indonesia on Tuesday and were welcomed by hundreds of reporters at a press conference at the Hyatt hotel, the left-back sitting alongside the recently reappointed manager.
Mourinho had signed the defender controversially from Arsenal back in 2006, Chelsea and the player having been found guilty of breaching Premier League rules by meeting secretly at London's Royal Park hotel 18 months earlier, an offence that eventually saw club, player and manager fined a total of £450,000.
The full-back had subsequently completed the move regardless, in exchange for £5m and William Gallas, and went on to win the League Cup and FA Cup in his only full season under Mourinho before the Portuguese departed in September 2007.
Yet the player, who was hampered by injury that campaign, admitted he did not play his best football in that period. "Having the manager back now from 2006, the manager who bought me, is important because I still feel I owe him something," he said. "I didn't play as well as I could back then, and as well as I have for Chelsea since, when he bought me.
"I owe him a lot, personally. I wouldn't say he's different now. He's always had one aim, one objective, and that's to win. I think it doesn't matter what you've achieved in the game, or what you've done in football. You've got to train well and give 100% for him.
"The one thing is he'll always give players a chance, if they're training and playing well. The boys are confident and happy he's back. You can see there's a new lease of life for some of the players, and that can only be good for us. As a team, I hope we can go on and win many trophies under him. It's a big club and we need to win trophies. And, with the new players coming in this summer, I think we can achieve that and win back the Premier League title."
There was a period last season when it appeared Rafael Benítez's successor may not have a chance to work with Cole, 32, whose contract was due to expire on 30 June and with negotiations having apparently hit an impasse.
Real Madrid, then under Mourinho, and Paris Saint-Germain were keen to lure him away from the Premier League. Yet the offer of a new one-year deal was eventually accepted in late January, prolonging his stay in west London into an eighth season, with the player having now tentatively suggested he would be keen to remain longer still.
Asked about that prospect, Cole added: "That's not down to me. I've got to keep training hard, playing well and make sure I keep my place in the team. We'll see what goes from there.
"I love Chelsea. I've been here seven years now and I'd love to stay here as long as I can. I hope so. I've won things but from day one when I first started playing football, I've always wanted to win. That feeling's never gone away.
"I wouldn't say I've had an unfulfilled Chelsea career. I've been lucky enough to win a few trophies. I hope to win more. Having the manager back, we can do it all together. As players we owe it to the manager to win the league or the Champions League again.
"For me, I jumped at the chance [to work with Mourinho in 2006]. He's a great manager. He's proved how good he is with the number of trophies he's won with different teams. He's great at motivating players and keeping you on your toes, doing what you should be doing. It's a pleasure to play under him. To play under such a great manager is an honour."