Joe Cole expects the Boleyn Ground to remain a fortress for West Ham United this term, after the Hammers No26 helped the hosts to a comfortable 2-0 opening day Barclays Premier League success against Cardiff City.

The Academy graduate took just 13 minutes to open his account for the campaign, collecting Matt Jarvis' cut-back, before firing home on the turn to give Sam Allardyce's men the perfect start.

The ever-reliable Kevin Nolan wrapped up the points with quarter-of-an-hour to play, enough to convince the 31-year-old that Premier League sides are not likely to relish the prospect of a trip to east London in the coming months.

"Cardiff were going to be on it, it's the biggest game of their lives, the club's first time in the top flight for 50 years," he told West Ham TV. "So it was a fantastic performance. I don't think anyone's going to enjoy coming here this year.

"It's perfect, the main thing is we got the three points. Stewart [Downing] came on and looked great, I thought Modibo was excellent up front. It's a fantastic start."

Speaking of his first-half strike, a first for the Club since February, Cole is thrilled to be up and running in the goals department, while owing much to the industry of fellow wideman Jarvis. 

He continued: "It was a good finish. Jarvo has done fantastic for me. He gets his crosses in, he picked me out, a little bit of movement and it was a good goal. And it's always nice to get the first goal out of the way.

"Jarvo's so sharp, strong, quick and direct. We've got Stewart as well and I obviously give the lads a little bit of something different. We've got a lot of options now for the manager.

Cole expects that strength in depth to serve the Hammers well this season, with one eye already on the prospect of a cup run.

"It's a long season. With the squad we've got we can have a real go in the cups as well, which is going to be important, because these fans deserve a good run in the cup and maybe a trip to Wembley. I think we've got a strong squad now."

Joe Cole

As for his own form, the skilful midfielder says there is still plenty more to come, as he looks to get yet more minutes under his belt.   

"I was a bit tired after 60 or 70 minutes, but that's understandable with all the nerves going into the game. I'm looking now to get another game on Saturday, and then Tuesday. The games are coming thick and fast and I'm looking forward to it."
 
Next up for Cole and his colleagues is a trip to Newcastle United next weekend, with the Hammers bidding to replicate last season's outstanding 1-0 success at St James' Park.

"We want to improve on our away form and we need to go to Newcastle and get something, that's for sure. We're going to work on [our away form] this week. We need to do many of the same things, but take our chances away from home, which is key. "

Stoke