Carlton Cole is "really up for it" as he goes back to Chelsea this weekend for the first time as an opposition player.
The 24-year-old striker is thriving after a run of games in the West Ham United first team. As a result, he cannot wait to feature in attack against the club he left to move east in summer 2006.
"There will always be that extra hunger for a player when they come up against their former club, no player wants to play their old team and do badly," he said. "This is actually the first time I am playing Chelsea as the visiting team so it will be weird but I am really up for it.
"I will hopefully have a big impact on the game and to get on the score-sheet as well would be the icing on the cake." Cole came through the Academy ranks at Chelsea and was tipped to be an England star of the future, with Claudio Ranieri particularly affording him high praise. However, he found opportunities hard to come by and went on loan to Wolverhampton Wanderers, Charlton Athletic - under Alan Curbishley - and Aston Villa. Settled at the Boleyn Ground now, he is seeing the benefits of an extended run.
"I expect a very tough game, it will be a lot to do with our performance though rather than theirs," he said. "We will need to go and set up our stall and show we mean business. I think we will be able to do quite well." Cole was on target last weekend in the 1-1 draw against Tottenham Hotspur, finishing off a fine move with a tidy finish past Paul Robinson. He is not just about scoring goals though, as he has managed to make six goals for others this campaign.
"We are a team than can go to places and upset teams which we have shown away from home so far this season. We will do the same at Stamford Bridge and try to upset their game plan and get the result we need." Cole may well find himself starting alongside Dean Ashton, a player he enjoyed a good partnership with at England Under-21 level. Whether going it alone or with Ashton in tow, Cole is determined to make his mark back at the Bridge.