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West Ham striker Carlton Cole is using the hurt he felt on missing out on automatic promotion to help the Hammers win at Wembley next week

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»When Carlton Cole watched the promotion celebration of first Reading and then Southampton there was only one emotion he was feeling – jealousy!

“To be honest, that really hurt me,” said the 28-year-old England international. “I knew that was supposed to be us, but it wasn’t.

“I am not going to say what I was feeling at the time, but I was really jealous and I just wanted that to be us.”

Cole has topped the scoring list for the third year in success, grabbing 14 goals this season with one important game left to play.

Automatic

But he knows where the Hammers slipped up in their battle for automatic promotion.

“Obviously we would have liked to have got automatic promotion, but it didn’t really work out that way – we found our home form a little bit too late,” he said.

“It was really down to our home form. We wasn’t winning home games that we were supposed to be winning and we paid for it.

“In the end we only lost out by three points to win the league, it was so tight at the top.”

Cole has made four substitute appearances for England at Wembley, but next week will be the big chance to walk out in claret and blue wearing the number nine shirt.

“It is going to be brilliant for West Ham. It is 32 years since the club has been there so it will be great to get there and hopefully get a win,” he said.

“Obviously this is only the second best way of getting up, but it will be a nice day out for the family and everybody connected to the club.

“As long as we make it a better day by winning, then there is nothing wrong with doing it this way.”

Cole’s recent form has certainly impressed and there is a distinct connection between him having a run of games in the team and his return to goalscoring form.

“Every striker goes through dry patches, but right now I am playing good football and the main thing is to keep the defences really busy,” he said.

“If I can do that it is half my job done and if I can get a goal that is a bonus, but there are lots of players in this team who can get goals and everyone is complementing each other.

“I just think everybody needs to pull in the same direction. We were all very upset about not going up automatically.

“But the manager has told us what he expects from us and we have just go to do it.”

We know what to expect from Cole. That is 100 per cent commitment and if the luck is on his side, then West Ham will have a huge advantage at Wembley.

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