Cole fired by warm reception

Joe Cole described his first match back in a West Ham United shirt as "emotional" and thanked the fans for making it a special occasion against Manchester United on Saturday.

The midfielder did his part by helping to set up the two goals that James Collins scored and received a rapturous applause from supporters as he made way off for Matt Taylor in the 78th minute.

"The reception I got was really emotional for me," Cole said. "I was choked, our fans were fantastic. But the West Ham fans have given me a great welcome every time I have come back here, with Chelsea and Liverpool, but it was really special."

Cole made his mark just before the half hour mark when he collected a pass from Ricardo vaz Te and sent a curling cross that was met by a glancing header from Collins. That drew the game level after United had gone ahead through Tom Cleverley.

The new No26 was also instrumental when West Ham grabbed their second strike. He received Jack Collison's corner and sent in another curling cross that Collins again met with his head to put the Hammers ahead.

Although Robin van Persie scored late on to set up a replay a week on Wednesday, Cole said everyone was pleased with the performance and is something he feels can be taken into the clash at Old Trafford.

"You can't point a finger, no one made a mistake. It was literally a case of it being a world-class ball from Giggsy [Ryan Giggs] and bang, van Persie was on it and he's a world-class finisher.

"We nearly got a third goal right at the end as well. I thought as well as us going forward, collectively we defended really well. We will go up there [Old Trafford] and give it a right go again."

Much has been said about Cole's return to his boyhood club and while the player embraced it all, he was just happy to be out there on the Boleyn Ground pitch in claret and blue once again.

"There was a lot of focus on me coming back, but I just couldn't wait for the chance to play. I felt during the match that I was getting stronger as the match went on and that will only come with playing.

"It was nice to play well. We have good players who can put balls in the right areas and players who can get on the end of them, as well as having a solid defence."

Cole also said that in the short time he has been back, he feels already that the club is in a good place and there is much to look forward to.

"The structure here at the club from top to bottom is just really good, something I noticed straight away. Hopefully with the Olympic Stadium being just around the corner for us and the way the manager has got this team together and wants to build on that, the future looks really bright.

"If we, as a team, can continue to play with the desire we have, then it can only be onwards and upwards for us."