West Ham’s Cole: ‘I have not had a knee injury’

Hammers striker Carlton Cole bounced back in style on Saturday with a match turning performance at the KC Stadium

West Ham striker Carlton Cole revealed that he had only one proper training session in the last six weeks before coming on as a second-half substitute to turn the game the Hammers way at Hull City on Saturday.

The 27-year-old England international climbed off the bench to make both goals in West Ham’s battling 2-0 victory at the KC Stadium, before confirming that the injury he has is a different one to his usual knee problem.

“As everyone knows, I’ve had a knee problem, but that has not been the problem this time,” revealed Cole. “It has been my medial ligament. I kind of twinged it against Crystal Palace and I had to come off.

“Since then it has been niggling and niggling. It is not my main injury that everyone knows about, it is something totally different so we are just going to try and keep on top of it and hopefully it will fade away with time.

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“I’m still playing with a little bit of pain, but it is not that bad at the moment.”

It certainly didn’t look too bad on Saturday when he first rose highest at a corner to head goalwards and see Sam Baldock poach the opening goal, and then provide a perfect pass for Jack Collison to make it two.

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West Ham now have a week off for the international break, but Cole is raring to go.

“I don’t need rest, I need to train,” he said. “I think I’ve only had one proper training session in the last month and a half. I’ve been called upon to have a good performance against Bristol City and again against Hull and it has been really hard to get match fit because you don’t realise just how long a month is not to get out on the field.”

Cole, who has four goals to his name already this season is keen to get back to regular action, but he also was quick to praise the part manager Sam Allardyce has played in his latest fitness battle.

“We have got great cover here so it is not like I had to be rushed back,” he explained. “I came back nicely and the manager has understood the situation and has done brilliantly getting me back slowly. Hopefully I can now get back to the form I was in before Christmas even comes.”

Cole must have been delighted with his contribution at Hull, but like every striker he is not happy when he is not scoring and he has targets for himself this term.

“There is still the main target that I want to hit,” he said. “I am getting a few more assists now, but really I want to get a few more goals.

“There was a couple of chances today that I should have taken. You might not see it is a chance, but I did, so in my head, I know what I’ve got to do.”

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