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Nov 11, 2008

Cole slams Forest after confirming retirement

Andy Cole has finally confirmed he has retired from football, but in doing so launched a broadside at Nottingham Forest and their manager Colin Calderwood.

The former Manchester United and England striker left his hometown club two weeks ago after failing to make an impression and growing disillusioned with restricted appearances.

The 37-year-old claims the move to the City Ground was a mistake, questioning whether Forest struck the deal purely to generate season ticket sales rather than considering him a valuable first team member. He was also furious at stories which claimed he had been sacked by the club.

Cole made just 11 appearances for Calderwood's side, six of those coming from the bench, and he failed to score a single goal.

It marks a disappointing end to a fine career for the striker, who also played for Arsenal, Fulham, Bristol City, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City, Portsmouth, Birmingham City, Sunderland and Burnley. He plundered 289 goals, 15 England caps and a host of honours - including five Premier League titles, two FA Cups and a Champions League winners' medal.

Cole told The Times: "It's not the ideal ending. It just wasn't working out. I told them from the outset that I didn't want to go there to sit on the bench, because I didn't want to be perceived as sitting back and making easy money.

"It was a strange one from the start. I never knew what my role was. Was it a PR thing, to sell a few more season tickets? I felt like the manager wouldn't have a conversation with me. I don't know if it's the right word, but he seemed kind of intimidated by me.

"(In September) I told him [Calderwood] that I wanted to go and that I would serve three months' notice if they wanted me to, which was in my contract.

"He said 'no, give it another month' - which I was prepared to do - and then suddenly, a few weeks later, the club start putting it around that they've sacked me or that I've walked out.

"I just wish Forest could have been honest.''

Cole is now hoping to go into coaching and help the next generation of goalscorers.

"I've all this experience. I don't want to keep it to myself,'' he said. "I want to give something back. I don't think it's the end of the Andrew Cole story. I hope it's a new chapter.''

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