Cole exclusive on West Ham TV!

Carlton Cole is aiming to celebrate his birthday by netting his first goal of the season in Saturday's Barclays Premier League fixture with Southampton.

The West Ham United and England striker has not found the net since his unforgettable npower Championship Play-Off final strike against Blackpool at Wembley.

In the same week he turned 29, Cole told West Ham TV he would love to get off the mark by notching in this weekend's sold out meeting with the newly-promoted Saints at the Boleyn Ground.


"I would love a birthday goal but to be honest I just want any kind of goal whether it is off my knee, my chest, my back or wherever my head - I don't mind!" he laughed. "Any goal would be welcome but as long as we are winning anyway and everyone else is scoring we will be fine.

"Southampton got four points off us last year and we were not happy with that. We played them at Upton Park with ten men for most of the game and that was a big game for us but we survived and drew one-all.

"They have not started as well as us this season in the Premier League, which is a completely different ball game. I have always said that we have a strong side for the Premier League and while we lost the last game [at home to Arsenal], we are looking to bounce back straight away.

"Our home form has been very good so hopefully we can bounce back against Southampton. I think they will be coming here thinking that we are the same team as last season and that they can grab a few points.

"Southampton think they know us but I think we will surprise them because we are not the same team as last season. We have added a few good players to our team as well so it will be an interesting game for them to see if they can handle us. We are very sound defensively and we are very good going forward at the moment so we have everything going for us."

While Cole might not have hit the net himself in 2012/13, his all-round contribution to the team has been appreciated by his coaching staff and team-mates alike.

"I have got a different part. If you want to read into stats, read into stats, but what I do on the field sometimes doesn't get mirrored with my goal ratio. Once you are a striker you are a striker and people will look into different parts of your game to try and criticise you, but I know what I am picked for and the manager knows why I get in the team and why I have to be around to help the team out."

One person who always appreciates Cole's efforts - on and off the pitch - is his mother. Last weekend, the No9 joined his mum Selina and guests at the launch of CARLAKKA, a foundation founded by the striker dedicated to making a difference for children in Sierra Leone.

The event, held in Chiswick, raised thousands of pounds towards the cost of building a new school in the African nation of his mother's birth.

"It is close to my Mum's heart and she wanted me to be the face of the Carlakka Foundation, which is building a school in Sierra Leone. Calakka has teamed up with the Ndoro Children's Charity that is going to be building a school in Zimbabwe, so we are trying to make as much money as possible because they are both good causes.

"We see how the African children live and I have to try and help as much as I can over there and over here. I will do anything to make my Mum happy. At then end of the day it is a great cause and I have people there to support me and I know West Ham will too."