West Ham boss Zola hoping McCarthy takes pressure off Cole

West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola is hoping new signing Benni McCarthy will help take some of the goal-scoring pressure off Carlton Cole

West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola is hoping new signing Benni McCarthy will help take some of the goal-scoring pressure off Carlton Cole.

The striker joined the club on Monday from last Saturday's opponents Blackburn Rovers on an undisclosed two-and-a-half year deal and the Italian is champing at the bit to see his new strike-force in action.

"I think he will be a good partner for Carlton Cole. Carlton is strong and skilful and Benni is smart and skilful so I think they will find a good combination," he grinned.

"Absolutely (McCarthy will take the pressure off Cole). It will be a big help for him. He will allow him to be more relaxed and also the opposition will not have to look after only one player, they will have to look after two players and that is a big thing.


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"If they work together and if they help each other than they can be a really big asset for us."

The Italian has been keeping a keen eye on McCarthy and after a long time in waiting is delighted to have finally got his man.

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"I think he has the quality I am looking for," Zola said.

"He has quality in the last third, he's got goals in his bag and that is what I need right now so that is what I am going to be asking him to produce for us.

"A player like him you have to keep around the box because he is going to be more effective like that."

Zola is also hopeful that the experienced striker, who has racked up over 50 caps and 24 goals for South Africa, can help the younger members of the squad become better players.

"We are already a young team, we have a lot of inexperienced players in our squad, so I think it is not wrong that we bring in someone with experience," said Zola about a striker who has played for Ajax, Porto and Celta Vigo in his 13-year career playing in Europe.

"Some football knowledge and also some goals, so I think it is a good choice."

McCarthy will more than likely be in the squad for the trip to Turf Moor next Saturday, when the Hammers take on relegation rivals Burnley.

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