Cole keen to keep hold of strike partner Bellamy

PUBLISHED: 10:53 08 January 2009 | UPDATED: 13:56 05 October 2010

Carlton Cole has urged West Ham to keep hold of strike-partner Craig Bellamy because he believes their forward pairing can fire the Hammers to FA Cup glory

By Jonathan Clegg

Carlton Cole has urged West Ham to keep hold of strike-partner Craig Bellamy because he believes their forward pairing can fire the Hammers to FA Cup glory.

Bellamy is a January target for a host of Premier League clubs, including Spurs and Manchester City, who had a bid for the Wales international turned down during the summer.

The financial uncertainty at Upton Park could now persuade the club to offload the 29-year-old, who is valued at £10m.

But Cole is desperate for the Hammers to keep hold of Bellamy and allow their strike partnership to continue to flourish.

He said: "I'd love him to stay here for a very long time.

"I don't know what's going to happen but everyone at the club wants him here.

"The manager wants him here, the players want him here. He's a great asset to the club and hopefully he stays with us."

Cole netted for the third game in succession during last weekend's 3-0 defeat of Barnsley and his pairing with Bellamy has now produced five goals in West Ham's past three matches.

The duo form an odd couple on the field, with the contrasting approaches of the diminutive, fiery Bellamy and the laid-back, rangy Cole making for an unlikely combination.

But Cole insists their different qualities have helped to create a mutual respect between the pair.

"We're totally different people," Cole said. "Craig's passionate about the game - if I've done something wrong, he'll let me know. I say it the same way - but he'll say it louder.

"I don't get annoyed. I'm a patient guy. I can't be bothered with all the palaver. I just like to live my life and chill. I don't want to get into arguments.

"Craig's a fiery character. You just have to respect how he feels sometimes. It's very constructive criticism. He reminds me of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.

"He's a really nice guy. I respect him and he respects me. That's how life is."

Now Cole believes that their burgeoning partnership can inspire the Hammers to success in this season's FA Cup.

He said: "It is a competition that is definitely winnable for us. We were in the final just a few years ago against Liverpool - the year before I joined the club - and everyone at the club is still buzzing off that.

"I want to be involved in such a massive part of the club's history myself one day.

"It's not always the top-four that get into the finals - even Millwall got there a few years ago.

"Cup ties are the sort of games where you have to grind out a result and you need a bit of luck to get to the final.

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