ENGLAND non-league soccer boss Paul Fairclough is backing former Southend United winger Mitchell Cole to be "the new Ryan Giggs".

After scoring four goals - including a hat-trick against Scotland - as England regained the Four Nations crown without conceding a goal, Cole again got the winner as the national side triumphed 1-0 over Finland under-21 in Valkeakoski.

Cole, 21, released from Roots Hall last season after scoring just one goal in 37 appearances, headed home 18 minutes from time.

And Fairclough, who is also Barnet manager, believes Cole - now under former Grays Athletic boss Mark Stimson's wing at Blue Square Premiership Stevenage Borough - is set for a third crack at the big time.

He was released by West Ham in 2004 before joining Steve Tilson's Blues from Grays in May 2005.

Fairclough is adamant that Cole could surpass another Southend reject Michael Kightly, the gifted winger Wolves took from Grays for a £25,000 bargain in the January transfer window but is now valued at £2m.

"Cole is a good bit of business in the making," said Fairclough.

"He played for Southend and failed but I believe this to be part of his learning process.

"He was very young but is now maturing into a fine footballer.

"At Stevenage Mark Stimson has picked him up, brushed him down, and has the player believing in himself again. Cole could even be the new Ryan Giggs - that's how good I think he can become."

And Fairclough believes Cole could soon be joining the Welsh winger in the Premiership, adding: "Mitchell has a wonderful chance. He is a class act who can go a long way in the game. He is destined for the Premiership.

"Kightly is heading for the Premiership and being valued at £2m, but Cole is equal to Michael and shows just how much talent there is in the (Blue Square Premiership).

"Our current England non-league squad contains many players who would cope with the Football League rather easily.

"But, because of the finances in the lower leagues, they have discovered more security at our level.

"But Cole is very special. He deserves another crack and I'd be amazed if some club doesn't grab themselves a bargain with him.

"He didn't appreciate his opportunities at West Ham and Southend. But I believe he is ready to grab his next chance.

"The boy has a real hunger - a desire that needs to be satisfied."

Cole also grabbed a goal for Stevenage in their 3-2 FA Trophy final success over Kidderminster Harriers at the new Wembley.