Joe Focused

Joe Cole says that the World Cup will be the last thing on his mind when he steps out against Sunderland on Saturday afternoon.

After another fine 45 minutes for England midweek, those who were saying he should not be in Sven's squad following the Italy game are now saying he must go to Japan and South Korea.

But Joe intends to let the hype take care of itself and says:

"I wasn't too disappointed last time and I'm not going to get too high this time, I'm just going to try and keep my feet on the floor and keep playing football," he says.

"I don't think I had anybody to answer to because I thought I did well against Italy as well as this week; different types of games breed different types of performances.

"I am happy that England won the game more than anything and I'm just looking for another performance on Saturday to help West Ham win, which would put the icing on the cake for a nice week for me.

"I put the World Cup out of my mind because on Saturday I will be playing for West Ham; I won't be thinking about it because I will be focusing on picking up three points for the team."

West Ham could have four players in the World Cup and Joe adds:

"Everyone is in with a shout; we all have caps and we are all looking to play this summer, but when we play for West Ham we are making sure we are putting in 100%, pulling together as a team and trying to get the right result.

"It is important that we finish strongly and keep hold of that seventh place; we don't want to slip up and not fulfil our potential."

The thigh problem which ruled him out of the Spurs game as well as the first day of England training in the week has not flared up and Joe says:

"I am fit for this Saturday and we are fighting for that seventh spot so hopefully we can get three more points on the board this weekend.

"It is very important that we win our home games, and if we do that we have a chance of that place. "We have some tricky away games and picking up points from those will be difficult, so we need to get the home points, which we have been fairly good at this year.

"We are looking for a good performance and hopefully a good win on Saturday for the fans who have been so excellent this year."

As for his international career, he says he is still on a learning curve - and happy to use his experience to West Ham's good.

"I'm just learning the game and picking up things along the way," he says, "learning a lot from the players around me; and hopefully what I do learn can benefit West Ham and when I come back from the England squad I can be a better player.

"The next time we play for England will be abroad so hopefully we can take some of Wednesday's performance with us; I am happy with the whole way the game went for England, it was a good performance from everybody, and it is just exciting to be involved in such a good team."