Cole has 'unfinished business'

Carlton Cole wants to conclude his own "unfinished business" when West Ham United head to Burnley on Saturday.

The Hammers' leading scorer netted his seventh goal of the Barclays Premier League season in the 5-3 home win over the Clarets on 28 November, only to be forced off by a knee injury just moments after scoring from the penalty spot.

The England striker returned to action last month courtesy of two substitute appearances against Portsmouth and Blackburn Rovers, but is hopeful of being back in Gianfranco Zola's starting lineup at Turf Moor.

"I've got unfinished business with them, because I got injured in the home game," said Cole. "Hopefully I can stay away from injury this time and notch another goal against them."

The 26-year-old was part of the Wolverhampton Wanderers team that lost 2-1 at Burnley on Boxing Day 2002, and he knows Brian Laws' side will provide a stern test again seven years on.

"I played there before for Wolves on loan from Chelsea," he confirmed. "We went up there and it was a really hard game. I've not been there for four or five years now and they've changed their style of play to silky passing. It should be a good game with some good football and we need to get a six-pointer up there, which we're fully capable of doing."

Two men who could help Cole in his quest for points at Burnley are Benni McCarthy and Frank Nouble. Experienced South Africa forward McCarthy has arrived at the club from Blackburn, while teenager Nouble has been filling in for the striker during his injury absence.

"I'm looking forward to playing with Benni," said Cole. "I'm very happy that he's joined us and it can only be a good thing for the club. He's a quality player and very experienced as well. For me, as well, I can learn from him and pick his brains about how he does things. I just can't wait to start training with him properly.

"Frank is doing well. It's hard to play the lone role up front, and people forget that Frank is only 18, because he's built like a bulldozer. He's still trying to learn his game and learn about his body and how to use it. He's doing a good job and looking sharp in training and impressing. I've been impressed with everything he does.

"He's been asking me for tips about what he should do and we've started to watch DVDs together, as well, so we can learn what other players do. He's in the same boat as me, trying to become a better player."

West Ham's supporters appreciated Cole's efforts at Portsmouth, singing his name to the tune of the Spandau Ballet hit 'Gold' on his return to first-team duty at Fratton Park.

"These things touch me, because it just shows how far I've come. I'm not saying all the fans didn't appreciate me, but once I started banging in the goals, I've become a more important and integral part of the team. I'm just happy and thankful that the fans appreciate that.

"Physically I feel good, but I need to get my match-sharpness back. Everything is positive for me at the moment, so I just need to keep on the road and I'll get there. I want to score more goals and get my tally back up and hopefully score a goal every other game."