Cole’s fired up by pacy Hines

WEST HAM striker Carlton Cole grabbed his second goal of the season against Liverpool on Saturday evening, but he reserved much of his praise for young strike partner Zavon Hines, writes DAVE EVANS. It was the striker s 23rd goal from 96 games in claret a

WEST HAM striker Carlton Cole grabbed his second goal of the season against Liverpool on Saturday evening, but he reserved much of his praise for young strike partner Zavon Hines, writes DAVE EVANS.

It was the striker's 23rd goal from 96 games in claret and blue and after the disappointment of his display at Wigan Athletic last week, he was back to his battling best against Liverpool.

Despite that, and despite his goal, it was not enough to earn West Ham anything for their efforts.

"It was frustrating," said the 25-year-old England man. "We didn't get what we deserved out of the game and we matched them like for like, but they've got class players that will punish you if you make one little mistake and that's what happened.

"The manager is looking to improve things and you can see how much improvement there was against Liverpool. We didn't play well at Wigan last week and that is the main plus point for us to take from this game."

Another is the performance of Hines, as well as Italian new boy Alessandro Diamanti, who completed the forward triumvirate against Liverpool.

Most Read

"We've got talent everywhere you look on the pitch," said Cole. "Zavon has done so well, I was so impressed by his performance today. He wasn't overawed and he kept going at Glen Johnson and you could see he didn't like it.

"He hit the post as well which was unlucky, but he won us the penalty that got us back in the game."

And the striker feels that it is only a matter of time before things come right for the Hammers: "We've got good players to score goals and have a strong squad," he insisted.

"We've got some players coming back from injury as well and they will be like new signings for us. We had Valon Behrami back today, who came off with a niggling injury and he's wrapped in cotton wool at the moment.

"After the Christmas period we're going to be really strong. We're just finding our way right now, but we will get the results that we need soon."

Cole's big moment against the Reds came right on half time. He met Mark Noble's corner with a deft flick header through a crowd of players, which flew in at the far post.

The big striker was a constant thorn in the side of the Liverpool defence, who certainly knew they had been in a game by the end.

"They are top-class defenders, but you've just got to go out there and give it all you've got, that's what I did today," said Cole.

"I was disappointed I couldn't get the winning goal, but all I can say is that we're close to where we want to get to and what we want to achieve.

"We matched them, but it's the finer details that have killed us."

For Cole, his performance was another plus mark in his column, as he battles to make the plane for England's World Cup Finals trip to South Africa next summer.

He is determined to be part of Fabio Capello's squad and displays like Saturday's cannot do him any harm.

"I want to progress my career," he insisted. "West Ham have given me a lot and I'm grateful that they've given me the opportunity to show my skills.

"Getting to play for England is a real bonus for me because it means I'm doing something right at West Ham and I'm loving every minute."

The fans are loving every minute watching Cole play too, and with support from the likes of Hines and Diamanti, good results cannot be too far away.