West Ham striker Carlton Cole wants ten goals by Christmas

Ten goals for Carlton Cole would make him a merry-old-soul if he can reach that target by Christmas

Ten goals for Carlton Cole would make him a merry-old-soul if he can reach that target by Christmas.

The England international has had a great year and the six-goal front man is looking to reach double figures before the Hammers host Portsmouth on Boxing Day.

"I'm trying to play well and stay up there with the top scorers in the Premier League," said the striker who scored three goals in four appearances last month.

"All I can do is keep tucking them away and hopefully I can progress and get to 10 before Christmas, because that is my target."

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The 26-year-old is certainly on course and a blossoming strike partnership with veteran Mexican striker Guillermo Franco will certainly help matters, as will the continuing influence of boss Gianfranco Zola, who has played a key role in Cole's rise.

However, the former Chelsea man realises he can raise his game even further as he looks to help West Ham jump up the Premier League.

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"I am always trying to improve my game. I look at videos and see where I should be and where I should have been at the time," he said.

"I'm trying to increase my threat in front of goal by getting into the right places at the right times.

"There's a lot of improvement in my game to be done, but I'm getting there."

The striker has an excellent chance to do that this weekend as the Hammers make the trip to fellow strugglers Hull City.

Cole missed West Ham's last match against Everton after picking up a hamstring injury in the win over Aston Villa and the powerful target man is certain he is fit enough to play.

"I've got a couple of days off now. I started running on Thursday and it's gone well. The Everton game was a bit too soon, but now I can just focus on Hull and try and get a result there. I'll be back fit," he said.

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