Cole's sound advice

Carlton Cole has revealed that a half-time chat with Ilan led to the Brazilian's match-winner in Saturday's 1-0 Barclays Premier League win over Sunderland.

The 29-year-old netted his second goal in two games by stabbing the England striker's knock-down past Craig Gordon six minutes after the break.

Cole told WHUTV how he instructed the South American to get close to him whenever a high ball was sent his way - and was rewarded almost immediately when Manuel da Costa launched a long free-kick into the Black Cats' penalty area.

"At half-time I just gave Ilan some advice to play off my shoulder because, if the ball is played up to me in the air, anything can happen," said the 26-year-old.

"I told him I could just knock it down and, it he was in the right place at the right time, he could notch a goal. He did it straight away. The first one that came in, he got right on to it and scored.

"I'm so happy for him. I was giving him some banter, saying he's our 'Saviour' because he's done some really good work. He's scored three goals now and I'm happy that he's done that. He's scored some important goals and I'm over the moon for him.

"I don't normally give him advice because he's an established player, but in that game, I thought he might get a bit more luck by playing off my shoulder and getting on to one of my flick-ons, and it happened.

"Obviously his English is not the best, but he does understand. He's a very smart guy and an intelligent footballer, so that's what happens when you get a good combination like that."

While understandably pleased to help stretch the gap between West Ham and the relegation zone to four points, Cole was also delighted to get one over former team-mate and close pal Anton Ferdinand.

"I'm happy that we won the game. Anton is a good friend of mine and there was always going to be a bit of banter before the game. I'm bantering him now because we won the game and I won the battle against him. He can sing better than me, but I did better on the day!"

With his personal battle with Ferdinand behind him and his partnership with Ilan growing with every game, Cole is targeting another positive result when the Hammers head for Liverpool a week on Monday.

"We did all right and I think we can start building on this now. We had a good result against Everton last week and on Saturday we had an even better result at home. I think we can build on this and get more points on the table with more wins.

"Hopefully [we can beat Liverpool]. We look like we can get a result out of any team at the moment, because we are playing some good football. The Everton game was a prime example - they were a very hard unit to break down.

"Obviously Liverpool are a good side as well, but hopefully we can go back up to Merseyside and get another result, whether it be a draw or even more. You never know in this game. We know what we're setting out to do and what points we need, and that's what we're going to try to achieve."