Cole praises the kids amid Millwall chaos

THERE have been a lot of column inches in the national press about the disgraceful scenes at Upton Park last Tuesday, but striker Carlton Cole wanted to stress one of the few positives to come out of the match. While the England striker toiled all night t

THERE have been a lot of column inches in the national press about the disgraceful scenes at Upton Park last Tuesday, but striker Carlton Cole wanted to stress one of the few positives to come out of the match.

While the England striker toiled all night to get an opening, it was youngsters Junior Stanislas and Zavon Hines who grabbed the goals that put them through 3-1 after extra time.

"It's funny because when Zavon came on the field at half time, I told him he was going to notch today," smiled Cole.

"I put him in once and he screwed it wide and when he finally got his goal, I was a bit aggravated because he didn't square it to me, but I was so happy."

He continued: "He came up to me after the game and said 'thanks for the belief'. He's always got my faith because I know what he can do. I saw him out in China and he scored a nice goal against Beijing."

Cole also had praise for Frank Nouble, who played almost an hour against the Lions.

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"When he came on he was brilliant, powerful. He's a real talent for the future as well.

"Under Franco and Steve's wing he's going to get even better, but it was funny to see how he's only 17 and playing in such a turbulent match."

Nouble certainly had a fine game, despite playing out of position on the right flank for much of it, but it was left winger Junior Stanislas who would have stolen all the headlines, but for the chaos in the stands and outside the ground.

"Junior is a great talent," insisted Cole. "He's playing for England under-21s and I've just got so much admiration for him. To take that penalty like that, and wanting to take it as well, takes a lot of guts.

"I actually wanted Jack Collison to take it for his dad - he's such a strong character to play in this match."

Cole didn't score against Millwall, but it was another tireless performance that is setting such a good example to these youngsters.

The striker feels that the example of the coaching staff is vital too.

"I've got such admiration for these young players, I've never seen anything like it.

"That's the kind of thing we've got going here and it's all down to the manager.

"It shows how much the young players want to play for him."

The inquiry into the events of last Tuesday are ongoing, with West Ham expected to send their findings to the FA by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, the Hammers have been given the unappetising prospect of a trip to Bolton Wanderers for their Carling Cup third round tie, expected to be on September 23.

West Ham have never won at the Reebok.

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