Carlton Cole has spoken of his delight at scoring from the penalty spot for the first time in his career to make it seven goals for the season.
Against Burnley on Saturday, the England striker was determined to take the kick when Jonathan Spector was upended just before half-time. Before kick-off at the Boleyn Ground, he had scored 13 goals in 24 league matches since Boxing Day 2008 but all had come from open play. Cole wanted to show he could handle all aspects of a striker's role.
"I have never taken a penalty in the Premier League before," he said in an exclusive post-match interview with WHUTV. "It was a good time to start. I felt I had to take it. I had to prove to myself that I can take penalties in pressure situations. It was the right time, we were two-up."
Cole converted with ease but few would have predicted the match would ultimately finish 5-3 to the Hammers after an action-packed second half. The 26-year-old was off the pitch at the time, protecting a knee knock. Cole's condition will be assessed in the week but, at the final whistle, he was just happy for a win after the frustration of a 3-3 draw at Hull City last weekend.
"It was a really good result for the lads. I always said we deserved more goals and we have scored eight goals in the last two games now. Scoring goals isn't a problem, we just need to tighten up defensively. We showed character. We bounced back from last week's draw that we felt we should have won. We scored good goals which are good for the confidence.
"It is nice to come off with a victory. We are going into the Man United fixture [next Saturday] and hopefully we can get a good result here as well. Hopefully we can put the ball in the net and upset the champions."