West Ham’s Cole: ‘I need to start scoring goals’
West Ham striker Carlton Cole was happy with the point at Leeds United, but knows he must start to score when he comes off the bench
The ups and downs of Carlton Cole’s season seem to mirror that of West Ham. When he is scoring, the Hammers are flying high in the league, but when he is misfiring, as he is at the moment, then things do not go so smoothly for the team.
It is February 4 since Cole hit his ninth goal of the current campaign and in the seven games since his last strike, West Ham have won just two of them.
The England striker knows that he has to make a bigger contribution.
“I need to score a goal ASAP, really, that will help the team progress,” said the 28-year-old marksman.
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“When you look at my contribution this season, I think I have started 20 games and scored nine goals. I am actually happy with that, but I can do a bit more scoring goals when I come on the field.
“I need to contribute more when I come on as a substitute to win games.”
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He may not have scored, but Cole certainly turned West Ham into a more potent attacking force when he replaced Nicky Maynard after 56 minutes at Leeds United on Saturday.
Manager Sam Allardyce admitted as much after Saturday’s 1-1 draw and Cole certainly came close to ending that barren run with one ball that flashed across the face of goal and a header from Matt Taylor’s free kick that went inches over.
Cole is a deep thinker about the game and he was quick to point out that West Ham’s late goal on Saturday was more than overdue.
“We have been in that position a lot of times this season and our main problem has been not scoring in the last 10 minutes,” said the striker.
“It was a good time for it to come today because we really needed it. If we are talking about the timing of the goals, we know that we need to up that.
“Whether we are winning or losing, we need to get goals in the final 10 because games are won and lost there.”
Or drawn in the case of Saturday’s match, though victories for both Reading and Southampton above them, puts the pressure on even more.
Cole believes though that things will eventually catch up with the teams in the automatic positions.
“The games are going to come thick and fast for all the teams now and let’s see how their strength in depth is,” he said.
“They are going to pick up injuries, some players are not going to be able to play and that means some of their key men when they have got three games in a week.
“We will see what they can do, but we have got strength in depth and hopefully the manager utilises what he has got.”
Bold words when you consider the current form of the Saints and the Royals, but the striker thinks that they should not be worrying about what others are doing.
“It is down to us now. Everyone has just got to keep plugging away,” he insisted.
“We are not actually looking at the other teams, everybody is telling us about them, but we know what we need to do every Saturday and whether it is Tuesday or Wednesday as well.
“Now it is time for us to start winning games at home, because we have dropped something like 21 points this season and it is not good enough.”
It is also time for Cole to start hitting the back of the net, because when he is scoring, West Ham are on the way up.