Cole aiming to prove himself

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Carlton Cole is desperate to prove his Premiership credentials at West Ham after leaving Chelsea, where he says youth was never given a chance.

Cole spent the last couple of years on loan as he found first team football hard to come by at Stamford Bridge as Roman Abramovich's billions saw big name after big name arrive at the club.

Although he was persuaded to stay at the club by Jose Mourinho last year, Cole decided enough was enough this summer and moved across the capital to join Alan Pardew's Hammers.

Cole says that young players struggled for recognition at Chelsea, as he now aims to prove he is Premiership class at West Ham.

"It has been like that for years now," said Cole.

"Only Jody Morris, John Terry and myself have come through the youth system as home grown English players. Robert Huth also came through and it was only us four who have gone on to make first team appearances.

"John Terry is the exception, he is the main man now, but there weren't a lot of young players coming through Chelsea, though I think they are starting to invest in the youth academy now.

"I wanted to leave last summer. Jose Mourinho persuaded me to stay but I wanted to play more often.

"I wasn't even in the squad half the time so it was hard for me to take. There might be a few players at Chelsea this season doing the same shift I was doing.

"I didn't really want to be involved in that again and Jose said he understood where I was coming from, which is why I got in touch with West Ham and West Ham took me.

"It is disappointing I didn't make many appearances for Chelsea but I have to look to the future now."

Cole came off the bench to score on his Premiership debut for West Ham against Charlton on Saturday, and he is now keen to prove he can score goals in the top-flight despite competition for places at Upton Park.

"I am keen to fight for my place in the side. I have done that at Chelsea, I am used to the competition. The boys here will put in a good fight and it will only up my game," said Cole.

"I have a point to prove. I have not played enough to score a bag of goals.

"Chelsea explained that loans don't work for me and they know what I'm capable of so in my own best interests they would let me go to West Ham so I could settle down and develop.

"I knew a few of the West Ham players before I came here and the manager and all the staff have helped me settle in really well.

"It is a different atmosphere here than at Chelsea. There are more English players and the banter will always be unbelievable when you have a bunch of English boys together.

"At Chelsea, where you have lots of people coming from different parts of the world, it was a bit more conservative. Here it is easier to gel and get involved."