Joe Cole is looking forward to facing Swansea City this weekend, the team he faced when he was given his first chance in the senior side at West Ham United.

The Hammers midfielder was just 17 years old when he made his debut against Swansea in the third round of the FA Cup in January 1999. Cole was also part of the victorious FA Youth Cup winning side for West Ham in that same year, alongside other up and coming players like Michael Carrick.

They are fond memories for Cole, who is delighted that his journey in football since then finds him back where it all started.

"I was just a lad from Camden Town and all I ever wanted was to be a footballer. So it is incredible where my journey has taken me from that, through to playing in France, playing for my country and now back here at West Ham.

"All of that has been a bonus, because as I said, all I wanted to do was play football. So it has been amazing and long may it continue."

Swansea's Leon Britton will be a familiar face to Cole when the two teams line up at the Liberty Stadium this afternoon.

"Leon is a terrific little player. I think he was a bit unlucky here as at the time when we were all coming through, me and Michael Carrick had broken into the first-team, then there was Leon and I just think it was a case of not the right time to have another young midfielder in the team, so he was a bit unlucky. But I always thought he was a talented lad and it is no surprise how well he has done."

Cole is looking to play his part in helping West Ham get some points on the road again and add to those gained at White Hart Lane in the last away fixture three weeks ago. He adds that he is feeling strong after recovering from his hamstring injury.

"I had a great pre-season, played the first league game against Cardiff City, got a goal and then not long after popped my hamstring. I just want to play as much as I can and as well as I can for the team.

"For me, it is about managing my body, we have a great medical team here and if I need anything extra to help me, like receiving treatment elsewhere, then the club and myself look at those options. It is about leaving no stone unturned and of course, you need a bit of luck. I make sure I do the extra work that is needed before or after training and make sure all the areas are looked after.

"We, as a team, have looked at the Manchester City game and reviewed it. We have looked at what went wrong and the positives, we know we want to make sure we are playing better all over the park when we face Swansea and go from there."

Cole said he feels that West Ham are in a good place and building well for the future.

"It is exciting times for the club, with the move to the Olympic Stadium on the horizon, we as a club have a really big opportunity to kick on. It is up to us as players, that we do our bit to help put the club in the right direction. I feel we are travelling on the right path and are in a really strong position to look to keep moving forward."