Carlton Cole is ready to feel the benefit of a full pre-season as he gets ready for the new campaign.

Having re-joined the Club after the start of last season, the 30-year-old striker missed out on the full range of preparatory work, yet still notched six goals to help guide the Hammers into mid-table.

Now, after getting back down to work during a week-long training camp in Evian, Cole is sure he can contribute more in the year to come.

He explained: "I did my own mini pre-season last year, when I had Monte [Mathew Monte-Colombo, strength & conditioning coach at the time] working with me one-on-one.

"It was intense as I had to get fit as quickly as possible, but when I did get fit I felt the benefits.

"It's always good to pace yourself though and maybe not burn yourself out like you can do. I handled the pressure well with my body, but it's better to start when everybody else is starting so you're in tune with everyone else.

"I didn't play any pre-season games last year, so that'll be the difference this season - I'll be fitter and ready to start the season."

One of the new faces with the Hammers this week is striker Mauro Zarate, and Cole is sure the added competition for places will help spur him and the team on.

He continued: "I've always thrived on competition and I know what I can do when I get the chance.

"I think the team is definitely set up for a better season. The manager is building a good squad, he'll use everybody so everyone's got to share the load in the season because we know how hard it will be."

As for the return to training itself, Cole is happy to be back on the pitch once more.

He added: "It's been quite good, when you've been away for the summer you want to get back in the swing of things straight away.

"We got eased into it on Friday, had training on Saturday and two sessions again on Sunday,

"The new boys have settled in with us well and everything's looking good."