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Dave Evans, West Ham Correspondent
Thursday, July 26, 2012
Hammers front man Carlton Cole says the club must aim to finish as high as they can this season
West Ham striker Carlton Cole says his side need to emulate the efforts of Norwich City and Swansea City and strive for the highest possible place they can in this season’s Premier League.
Both newly-promoted teams thrived in the cauldron that is the Premier League and the Hammers front man believes that they should be that determined too.
“People are talking about the new season and we have Premier League players and you have to be ambitious,” said the 28-year-old marksman, who notched 15 goals for West Ham last season including one in the play-off final victory over Blackpool.
“To get to mid-table in our first season back and then to look to progress from there is what you would be looking at.
“You want to replicate the likes of Norwich and Swansea who did well, and when you look at QPR surviving, all the newly-promoted teams stayed up and we are looking to try and do the same.”
Cole has been at Upton Park for six years now, scoring 57 goals along the way, and he is considered as an important role model to the younger players who are beginning to come through at the club.
“Yeah, I am one of the older – slightly older players now,” he smiled. “We have a few young boys in and around the squad and all I can do is to help and guide them with my experience like I was given.
“I missed a couple of games early on in pre-season and had to do a bit of catch-up, but now I am feeling good and I am looking forward to the next few games.”
Cole is part of the squad currently on the pre-season tour of Germany and he knows just how important it is to get everyone in peak condition for the start of the new season.
“We have players who are not yet fit, those who are away on Olympic duty and hopefully new players to come in, so by the time they are here, they can all gel nicely,” he said.
“The gaffer and the club are working hard to bring new players in. He knows how he wants to improve us before the start of the season and I am sure he will do that.”
There is plenty of competition for places up front at West Ham, but with Cole the club’s leading scorer for the past four seasons, he is sure to be playing a vital part.