Cole eager for more

Carlton Cole has travelled to Kazakhstan having already experienced the highs and lows of playing for England in his fledging international career.

The West Ham United striker Cole made an impressive debut against Spain in Seville in February, but then suffered the frustration of a groin injury less than 20 minutes after coming on for his second cap against Slovakia at home a month later. The setback in the Wembley game has certainly not tempered Cole's pride at being called up to represent his country, an experience he remembers fondly.

"I didn't actually get a call, I saw it on Sky Sports News and it was a very emotional time for me and my family. Everyone was phoning me and my phone was ringing constantly so it was a really moving time for me.

"I'm happy I got the chance and Mr Capello thought that I was good enough to get there and play at that level. And then when I went there, training was fiery. Obviously there were some great quality players and to be shown as one of the best players in the country, just being in the set-up was great."

Cole is now hoping to go one better to help the Three Lions move a step closer to qualification to the FIFA World Cup in South Africa in 2010 by beating Kazakhstan on Saturday and then Andorra four days later. Having won five games out of five, confidence is understandably high.

Against Spain, the West Ham No12 could not have come closer to marking his presence at international level with a debut goal. After collecting a David Beckham pass, Cole cleverly rounded the goalkeeper only to see his goal-bound shot hacked off the line by Gerard Pique.

"[Making my debut] was a bit surreal. It was a weird one. I can't even explain the feeling that overcame me at the time. I was happy to be there and I nearly scored and that would have been the icing on the cake but it wasn't to be."

England manager Fabio Capello has spoken to the 25-year-old about the areas where he believes he can improve his game even further and Cole has eagerly taken his comments on board. "Yes it's very encouraging. If you look around the world there are not many players that are big, strong, powerful and quick.

"So if I can work on all of those attributes and try and make my game a certain way that would suit a player playing off me ...  that would be a thing to have in my locker."

Cole signed a new five-year deal in November to keep him to the Boleyn Ground until 2013 and the forward is certain there is still plenty more to come from him yet. "I've just got to keep working hard as I'm far from the finished article and I know what I need to work on and I'm going to keep on fighting tooth and nail to where I want to get to."