Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has hailed Ashley Cole for the positive attitude that he has shown in recent weeks.
The England international has been dropped to the bench of late, with Cesar Azpilicueta preferred at left-back.
However, despite having had to settle for a role among the substitutes, the 32-year-old has received praise from his boss for the way that he has dealt with the situation.
"I think Ashley Cole will start one of these two matches, against Sunderland or Stoke," Mourinho told reporters.
"When any player that all his career, normally starts every game doesn't, naturally they are not the happiest guy in the camp.
"Ashley is always professional, always a team player, so he deserves to play."
Cole joined the Blues from London rivals Arsenal in 2006.