'That was a win that we needed'

Carlton Cole's commitment and determination were there for all to see in West Ham United's 2-0 Barclays Premier League victory at Cardiff City on Saturday.

The striker bagged his fourth goal since returning to the Club on a short-term contract to set the Hammers on course for a confidence-boosting victory.

While everyone could marvel over the accuracy of Cole's first-half finish at the end of a sweeping move involving Matt Taylor and Matt Jarvis, what fans will not know is that the striker played for half-an-hour with a stiff neck!

"Obviously that was a win that we needed to get and both before and after my goal we defended well, bedded in and it gave us the platform to go on and win the game," said the No24.

"It was important that we kept a clean sheet because it meant that we would get something from the game, especially away from home. We needed to get at least a point, so the three points were exactly what was required. That was a real boost for us.

"In the first half, my neck was gone! I had a spasm so I put in a shift as best I could after the goal, really, and I was determined to carry on until the manager was ready to make a change.

"That's the whole point of a squad. You need all your players to be ready to go on the field and any time and make an impact. I have scored a few goals now this season and it shows the value of having a good squad and good morale as well.

"If you're not starting, you can't sulk because when you get in, you can't let the boys down. That's what the changes did, because everyone who came on did their jobs for the team."

Cole said Saturday's victory showed that the spirit among the players and staff remains strong, despite the shock of two heavy cup defeats in recent days.

"At the end of the day, if you read the newspapers, the media will always paint a bad picture of what is going on in the camp if results are not good.

"We already know what is going on in our camp, so we don't need anyone else to tell us from outside. We're OK and we knew, if we got games like this, things could come together.

"We scored at the right time, defended resiliently and I am happy for the boys."

Always a popular figure among the Claret and Blue Army, Cole joined his team-mates in thanking the 2,000-odd supporters who made their way to Cardiff at the end of a difficult week.

The striker said the victory, capped by Mark Noble's added-time clincher, was for those loyal, loud and proud fans.

"The fans are massive for us. They travelled to Cardiff and deserved to get something out of the game. They were telling us that recent results weren't good enough and we know that.

"We conceded eleven goals in two games, but we knew our main focus was the Premier League because that's our bread and butter. We were riled up for the game, put in a good performance and got the job done in the end."