Cole puts the team first before his goal tally

Hammers striker chuffed with his early-season form

West Ham striker Carlton Cole is delighted with his goal-scoring form so far this season, but says that the team will always come first for him.

The 27-year-old front man has now scored three goals in as many games following his effort in the Hammers’ 4-1 win against Nottingham Forest on Sunday, but the England international was full of praise for his team-mates.

“It was a professional performance,” said Cole.

“All credit to the lads, I thought that they were all pumped up for this before the game.

“We set ourselves a standard at Watford when we won 4-0 and we wanted to emulate that again today and I can’t praise the lads enough.”

The Hammers made a great start on Sunday and thanks to an own goal from Luke Chambers, a Kevin Nolan effort and a Cole goal, West Ham raced into a 3-0 lead just after half-an-hour.

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“We got out of the traps really well,” said Cole.

“I thought we were a bit lucky with a few chances that they had and Rob Green made a superb save which was as good as a goal and we worked from there really.

“It spurred us on to get the first goal and I feel sorry for the defender, but we did well to capitalise on the situation.

“In this league you need to score goals in order to win games.”

And that is exactly what Cole is doing, with a ratio of three goals from three starts.

“Obviously I’m chuffed with getting a goal and getting on the score sheet again,” said the Hammers’ top scorer this season.

“But it’s not all about that, it’s about the other stuff as well.

“I thought we should have capitalised on a few of our other chances and I created a few as well for my other professionals and hopefully next time they will put them in the back of the net.

“I haven’t set myself a target for the season, I just want to play well, win games and put the team first before myself.”

Having now collected nine points on their travels but struggled at home, Cole is determined to put things right in West Ham’s next game at Upton Park.

“I don’t think that there is a big issue,” he said.

“I just think that we need to see out games and be professional as sometimes we are a bit na�ve.

“But if we see out games like we did today and get another goal to settle the nerves then it helps.”

Cole also spoke highly of new Hammers signing Sam Baldock and was excited at playing alongside the former MK Dons striker.

“He is a great talent,” said Cole.

“Our scouting system had been watching him for a while and he suits the way we play.

“Hopefully he can settle in and get on the scoresheet, because he looks like one of those players that will get in, get a chance, get the ball out of his feet and have a shot.

“That’s what we need, we need more goalscorers and that is what we have got in him.”

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