Cole’s loyalty may be the key to West Ham’s success

Scott Parker may be gone, but England international Carlton Cole is still at the club after the transfer window shut and he has three goals to his name already.

Scott Parker may have left Upton Park, but the decision by striker Carlton Cole to stay at the club could become the most significant event of this transfer window.

The 27-year-old England international turned down a move back to the Premier League with Stoke City earlier in the summer and though Fulham and QPR are were also said to be interested, it seems that Cole is happy to drop a division and ply his trade in the Championship.

It is working out so far for the rangy centre forward. In three starts this season he has scored three goals, grabbing West Ham’s third on Sunday as they thumped Nottingham Forest 4-1 at the City Ground.

Cole though is the first to admit it was a team effort.

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“Obviously I’m chuffed with getting a goal and getting on the scoresheet again, but it’s not all about that,” said Cole who nodded in from close range on Sunday.

“I don’t set targets. I just want to play well, win games and put the team first.

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“I thought we should have capitalised on a few of our other chances and I created a few as well for my team-mates and hopefully next time they will put them in the back of the net.”

Two of Cole’s three goals have come on West Ham’s travels, but the striker does not believe that the lack of a win at Upton Park is anything the Hammers need to seriously worry about.

“I don’t think there is a big issue there,” he insisted. “I just think we need to see out games and be professional and that is what it is really.

“Sometimes I think that we are a bit na�ve, but if we can see out games like we did today, we will have no problems.”

One of the biggest problems of last season was West Ham’s inability to hold on to either leads or draws and Cole is keen to see that addressed during this campaign.

“We got the goal that settled our nerves today when it was 3-1, because sometimes we can lose a lead,” said the England striker.

“It happened to us loads of times last year when we were comfortably in the lead and then the opposition got a goal and they were back in the game.

“Today we saw it out nicely and the boys did really well. It was an emotional rollercoaster at times, but we got the goal that took a lot of pressure off us.”

Sunday’s win followed up another thumping victory at Vicarage Road two weeks ago and Cole was delighted to see them continue their fine away form.

“It was fantastic,” he said. “I thought the lads were really pumped up for this one before the match. We set ourselves a standard at Watford when we won 4-0 and we wanted to emulate that again today.

“It was a very professional performance from the lads and I can’t praise them enough. We got out of the traps well, but I thought we were a bit lucky with a few chances that they had.

“But ‘Greeno’ made a save which was as good as a goal and we worked from there really.”

With the defence looking solid with the arrival of George McCartney, Cole’s goals at the other end are vital if West Ham want to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

He may not be setting any targets, but with the start he has made, 20 will certainly not be out of the question for a player who has had his detractors in his five years at the club.

Perhaps now, he can finally win them all over.

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