Cole knows the goal

Carlton Cole has spoken of his determination to keep on helping the team after more than playing his part in the weekend win at Fulham.

The 24-year-old striker was the centre of attention last week for the wrong reasons and was fined by manager Gianfranco Zola but returned on Saturday afternoon to show his commitment to the cause. He said: "All I could do was go and respond in a good way to help the team on the pitch to get a result. For me personally, I was glad to get a goal as I have had some bad press last week.

"I made a mistake, I am only human," he added after scoring his third goal of the season in seven games - already half the total he secured in 37 appearances in 2007/08. "But I won't be making those kind of mistakes again, I have grown as a person now and want to capitalise on that on that by scoring more goals and just look to get better with each game of the season."

Zola is well aware of Cole's considerable promise, having been a key mentor as the young forward first made his name at Chelsea. Following the Fulham victory, Zola stated again that there is no limit to what his young charge can achieve and Cole is well aware of the backing. "He has been very supportive and was very happy for me that I got my goal. That's all he asks for me, just to keep my nose clean and be a proper model pro.

"He wants us to be intelligent on the ball, create things and enjoy our game, that is the main thing. That's how he used to play, so he is trying to instill that in us. The boys are loving it, training has been top notch, Steve Clarke has come in as well, Kev Keen has done a really good job and they are all supportive of the lads, and we are getting the results on the pitch now, which is the really important thing."

Former Under-21 international Cole is being talked about in terms of England, but he is just focused on making sure that his club keep up the fine form that has seen them rise to fifth place in the early Premier League standings. "We can't ask for much more, we are doing really well and all the boys deserve a big pat on the back for pulling in the same direction and getting the results we need."