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Tony Cottee- We must all pull together at West Ham

PUBLISHED: 15:38 22 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:07 05 October 2010

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17:  Manager Gianfranco Zola of West Ham talks to Carlton Cole at half time during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and West Ham United  at the Britannia Stadium on October 17, 2009 in Stoke on Trent, England.  (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 17: Manager Gianfranco Zola of West Ham talks to Carlton Cole at half time during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and West Ham United at the Britannia Stadium on October 17, 2009 in Stoke on Trent, England. (Photo by Christopher Lee/Getty Images)

2009 Getty Images

After seeing extended highlights of the game against Stoke last Saturday it was disappointing to see us concede some sloppy goals,"" says Tony Cottee

After seeing extended highlights of the game against Stoke last Saturday it was disappointing to see us concede some sloppy goals.

The first was a penalty and you could not really argue with that decision, but the second goal was a poor one.

Various players did not do their job at that moment in time and if we keep conceding goals like that we will find ourselves in trouble.

Problems like that will be highlighted even more if we continue to struggle to put the ball in the net at the other end of the pitch.

There is a lot of pressure on Carlton Cole at the moment to score goals.

No-one is doing it as regularly as he is at this moment in time and if his form dips or he picks up an injury we could find ourselves in serious trouble. You cannot just rely on one man to do the job.

I hope people like Jimenez, Hines and Franco start regularly finding the net, but even if they do score goals we need players from all areas of the pitch to make an impact.

Football is a team game and the club need players from other areas of the pitch to contribute. The midfield will have a key role to play and their goals will be vital if the club are to climb out of the relegation zone.

There is a lot of pressure on the youngsters at this club at the moment and I feel they do need help from some of the older, more experienced members of the squad.

Mark Noble was in this position two years ago when we were struggling near the bottom and I think he learnt a lot from the experience and improved as a footballer.

I am hopeful the likes of James Tomkins, Zavon Hines, Junior Stanislas and Jack Collison will do the same.

Like that season, I have great belief we will still stay up, but it will take a string of good performances and victories to get out of the current poisiton, but I believe the team can do it.

There are, I believe, around 10 teams looking to stave off relegation and any one of them could get dragged into the scrap at the bottom at any time if their form takes a downward turn.

You can see that with the start we have had and although I believe our squad is probably stronger than most of the teams around us, I don't believe you can ever be too good to go down.

I believe the side we had two years ago, when we narrowly avoided relegation to the Championship proves that and I actually believe that side was better than this one is.

Gianfranco Zola may be given funds in January to buy players, he may not, you just don't know.

However, I am sure every manager in the World would say they would like more money to buy players, but sometimes it just is not available.

He may have to sell players to bring in fresh blood and unfortunately that's just football.

There is no chance anybody associated with the club can take anything for granted.

We have had problems defensively of late and that is disappointing.

Of course players have blips in form now and again and you cannot expect them to be perfect every time they take to the field.

I have made it clear that I was not happy when we sold James Collins. He is a very solid defender and I believe we have missed him at times and he had a very good relationship with Matt Upson at the heart of the Hammers defence.

He was one of the best defenders at the club and I know that Gianfranco Zola probably did not want to let him go, but had to, to raise some cash.

Don't get me wrong, I rate James Tomkins very highly and he has played well this season. He can only keep improving and I hope and believe he can be a great player for this football club.

But he is young and playing him every game does put a lot of pressure on him and youngsters can make mistakes.

He can learn a lot from playing next to Matt Upson, who is an England international.

Tony Cottee was talking to Matt Diner

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