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2014-02-05T09:00:00 Updated 2015-02-18T22:47:50

The Big Interview - Carlton Cole

Carlton Cole says West Ham United are focused on staying in the Barclays Premier League after picking up two great results last week.

Two different, but equally committed, performances against Chelsea and then Swansea City earned the Hammers a total of four points in the space of four days, including a first home win of 2014.

As Sam Allardyce's side prepare to play Aston Villa on Saturday, Carlton Cole is hoping the team can put together a run of good results.

Carlton, how have two great results, a draw against Chelsea and then three points against Swansea City, lifted morale around the Club?

CC: "Obviously the boys have been buzzing but it's important that we focus on the next game now. We had a team meeting and the gaffer knows that we have to do more if we want to stay in this league. We've set our targets now and all the boys know what we need to do to stay in it."

Have the two results lifted a bit of pressure off the players?

CC: "Wins will take a lot of pressure off in any situation. Now that we almost have a fully fit squad, apart from Joey O'Brien who has to have an operation, we've got more options available and players coming back so it's all positive for the Club."

The 2-0 win against Swansea on Saturday was the Club's first home win of 2014, how important was it to get that first win in front of the home fans?

CC: "It was brilliant. The crowd were amazing that day and it was just an unfortunate situation that led to Andy Carroll getting sent-off at the end of the day. By the end of the match we pulled through and deserved to win the match."

How good is it for you to see an almost fully fit squad and only one or two still in the treatment room?

CC: "When you see injured players in the treatment room and in the gym when they can't come out with you, you're always asking them 'When are you coming back?' and it's obviously frustrating for them so you stop asking them after a while. It's good for morale when players come back and it gives everyone a boost when you see your colleagues coming back to fitness. When they get back into the squad it's good because you know what they can bring to the team."

The Club signed a couple of new players in the January transfer window, how have they fitted in so far?

CC: "Their English is not quite up to scratch but their English is better than my Italian so I can't complain about that! We've got a few other young signings as well who are going to be looking to push for first team places, coming off the bench or starting. We've got competition for places all round now."

Have the new signings freshened things up and helped provide more competition for places?

CC: "Yeah, definitely. When you've got competition for places you want to go out there and keep your place if you're starting. That's what football's about and that's what will get us the results that we need."

Aston Villa are the opposition on Saturday and you spent a season on loan there earlier in your career, how do you remember your time with the Villans?

CC: "I've got fond memories. I made good friends, the kit-man over there has always been a pal of mine but that was when I was much younger! Ten years ago now I think! Things have changed since then. They've done really well and maintained their Premier League status since I left there so they've done exceptionally well and they have some good young players coming through."

The bottom half of the table is so tight that if we beat them on Saturday we can drag them towards the relegation battle, is that the aim?

CC: "No one seems to be safe from 12th downwards. We're just focusing on trying to get to that tenth spot, that's our aim. If we can get there then we've had a successful season."

A good result against Aston Villa would set us up nicely for two crucial home games later in the month wouldn't it?

CC: "We've got two crucial home games coming up against Norwich City and Southampton but we have to take it one game at a time. Hopefully we can go into every game feeling positive and knowing that we can get the result that our work-rate deserves. We'll try and bag a few goals and hopefully we can carry on keeping clean sheets."

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