West Ham’s Cole: ‘It’s time to play ugly’

Hammers striker Carlton Cole says West Ham should play the long ball game to get a result against Wigan Athletic on Saturday.

WEST HAM striker Carlton Cole is calling on the team to abandon the beautiful game and play ‘ugly football’ against Wigan Athletic at Upton Park on Saturday.

Last weekend’s dreadful 3-0 defeat at Liverpool left many fans calling for the head of Avram Grant, but in the end it was his number two Zeljko Petrovic who was shown the door.

But Cole believes it is up to the players to find the formula that will work on Saturday and glean them three precious points against fellow strugglers Wigan Athletic.

“Wigan is a massive game and we have to turn things round,” admitted the 28-year-old striker who was starved of service and left isolated against Liverpool.

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“We thought after Birmingham that was going to be it with two home games, but we drew both and that was not helpful.”

West Ham sit five points from safety, rock bottom of the Premier League table, and the former Chelsea man, believes now is the time when things need to be changed.

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“I think now we need to change attitudes,” he said. “I’m being honest now and I say I think we should play like Bolton – they are getting results.

“Play like Bolton, play like Stoke City – hit it long and stop all the pretty stuff.”

Bolton boss Owen Coyle may take exception to his side being described as a long ball team, but Cole has got a point about the tactics.

Grant’s preference for the 4-5-1 formation worked for 70 minutes up at Birmingham, but it has been found wanting in most games, especially at Anfield on Saturday.

“We try and play good football, we do, but right now we need to get results,” said Cole.

“I think I had just one cross against Liverpool, apart from that I had nothing – what am I supposed to work on?”

The West Ham board have designated Saturday’s match as a ‘Save our Season’ game and have also put 5,000 tickets for sale at just �20 in a bid to boost the gate.

Cole himself is determined that with the right tactics, they can get the correct result.

“I want to play ugly,” he said. “Ugly is the way forward for us now. Play it long and I’ll try and put my head on it and let’s try and make something work from that.

“Let’s play ugly and get results. I don’t want to play pretty football anymore, because pretty football is not getting us the results anymore.”

He is certainly right about that. West Ham have won just one league game all season and that was way back in September.

They are hoping that Scott Parker will be fit after he missed the trip to Liverpool with a chest infection.

He was at the training ground on Tuesday, but still suffering, while Valon Behrami is also battling to be fit, though Kieron Dyer is not expected to be back.

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