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Thursday 19 October 2017

By Eleanor Crooks, Press Association Sport

By Eleanor Crooks, Press Association Sport

Carlton Cole is being inspired by West Ham's summer signings - even though they are keeping him out of the side.

Enner Valencia and Diafra Sakho have formed an impressive partnership up front for the high-flying Hammers and both scored in Saturday's 3-1 victory over Burnley.

Fellow new boys Aaron Cresswell and Carl Jenkinson set up the opening two goals, and Sakho was involved in the third scored by substitute Cole.

The 31-year-old, who is into his ninth season with the club, said: "You always want new players to bed in as soon as possible and these players have just hit the ground running.

"You can't ask for any more and they've really energised the older players as well. Players like myself who are experienced, you just want to get up to the level they're getting up to. It reminds you you're not finished yet, you've still got a lot to show and give."

West Ham managed just 40 goals in 38 games last season but are averaging nearly two goals a game so far this campaign.

Sakho has had a lot to do with that, the former Metz man netting at Turf Moor for a sixth successive game.

"If he keeps on going like that, there's no chance of me getting in," said Cole.

"As long as I can come on and contribute and try to do the best I can, that's all I can do at the moment. Any chance I get, I try to do a professional job."

The victory was enough to lift West Ham, at least temporarily, to the dizzy heights of fourth place in the Barclays Premier League table and give manager Sam Allardyce the perfect 60th birthday present.

"I was saying to the boys I can't remember being here and at this stage of the season being in a Champions League spot," said Cole.

"We're doing really well, we're not letting it go to our heads, we're taking each game as it comes and that's all we need to do really. The players are playing brilliantly and the manager can't ask much more from us.

"It's very rewarding. I'm just happy to be a part of it and I'll hopefully be a part of it for as long as I can. I love playing for the club and I've always enjoyed playing under Sam as well.

"Everything's going well and we just need to keep it going and see how far we can get."

It was an afternoon of mixed feelings for Burnley, who were much the better side in the first half but came away with nothing as they continue their search for a first win of the season.

They hit the bar twice and saw a goal correctly disallowed for offside as well as scoring through one of their own summer signings, George Boyd.

It was the Scottish midfielder's first for the club but there was more frustration for the strikers, none of whom have yet found the net this season.

Boyd is confident the team's luck will change but admitted they need to learn fast after a sloppy start to the second half cost them dearly.

"We dominated for large spells and the gaffer warned us they would come out and give us a bit of a response and those two goals at the start of the second half have killed the game really," said Boyd.

"We came back at 2-1, and even at 3-1, (Ashley) Barnes has hit the crossbar. I think it's good we showed a bit of character and kept coming back.

"There's loads of positives, we played some fantastic stuff in the first half. It was just a 10-minute spell we have to learn from.

"It's devastating that we've lost because of the way we played. The amount of chances we created in the first half, I've no doubt people will score goals and that will be enough to keep us in the division."

ends

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