Curbs has Cole in contention

Alan Curbishley has revealed positive news about Carlton Cole ahead of the return to league action against Everton on Saturday afternoon.

The in-form striker scored the opening goal in the 2-1 Carling Cup defeat by the same opposition on Wednesday night but then had to come off in the closing stages after a knock. However, the manager is confident the 24-year-old will be back in action, along with a couple of other welcome returns in Henri Camara and Nolberto Solano.

"We are very similar to the squad that was available on Wednesday, but we have Camara and Solano back from being cup-tied. Carlton Cole has been training the last couple of days so he has recovered fine from the slight problem he had after the match." Also hoping to get another start will be Cole's strike partner Dean Ashton and midfielder Freddie Ljungberg.

Reflecting on Wednesday night's quarter-final exit, Curbishley said: "After viewing the game again it was a very even game. We had the best of the first half and they had the best of the second but the whole game was very even and it was the misunderstanding that decided the game. It is a big game for us this weekend. The cup's gone so we are now looking to push on in the league.

"I though that Wednesday was a one-off in some respects so we attacked it accordingly. This is a league game so we will approach it a bit differently, both teams will know what to expect from each other after playing each other only three days before so it will be a tight game. We are all aware we need to do a bit more at Upton Park in terms of the results so that is what we will be looking to do."