West Ham's Carlton Cole admits injury frustration
West Ham striker Carlton Cole has described the recovery process from a knee injury as 'like smashing your head into a brick wall' .
West Ham striker Carlton Cole has described the recovery process from a knee injury as 'like smashing your head into a brick wall'.
The England international's knee was damaged in the 5-3 victory over Burnley in late November and he did not return until the 1-1 draw with Portsmouth in late January.
Badly missed, Cole has struggled to regain the form which saw him selected for England against Holland last August and his frustration to get back to his best is evident.
"My fitness is good. I've been working on it every day trying to help myself get match fit for the Saturday or Sunday," he said speaking after the 1-0 victory over Sunderland at Upton Park last Saturday.
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"It's been hard, mentally jarring as well, especially when results are not going your way.
"It's like smashing your head into a brick wall because nothing's happening for you.
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"It (Saturday's game) was a massive stepping stone for me because I felt I worked hard. I didn't get as tired as I usually did in prior games.
"All in all, it was a good performance. I didn't get a goal, but I helped the team to a victory and that's all I was here to do."
Cole set up goalscorer Ilan with a deft header in the second half for the winner and with West Ham's place in the Premier League far from assured for next season, the 26-year-old is hopeful of continuing to make an impact.
"Do you know what? I took a lot of pleasure from setting up the goal today because that was what I was known for. That was my main thing. Then I started scoring goals and everyone labelled me as a goalscorer," he said.
"I don't see myself as either really, I just see myself as playing the game, trying to help the team.
"I've always been a team player and I'm just happy that I contributed to a goal today and last week I contributed to a good team performance.
"The goals will come, but the situation I'm in right now, I know the goals would help the team but first and foremost you've got to work hard to get your goals and I've got to start again from base."
Cole was also frustrated by the timing of the setback which led him to miss seven matches.
"I had a bad injury, I came back and tried hard and it wasn't working out. So I've got to graft and get my fitness back to where it was supposed to be. I've got to start again," he said.
"The injury came at a bad time. I took two months out and had to reset my button, but hopefully now I can start blossoming and concentrating on my goals.
"But first and foremost the team needs to stay up. There's more to my football now than goals because I need help the team progress.