West Ham striker Carlton Cole enjoys new role in friendly

West Ham Dugout

West Ham United's Carlton Cole was utilised in a deeper role during the club's friendly against Fulham last week.

Carlton Cole may not have managed to earn himself as many first-team chances as he was hoping for so far this season at West Ham United, but he may have found a way to force his way into the team. 

The target man centre-forward has found his chances limited, making just eight appearances, due to the form of Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia up front, but he was tested out in a new role in the club's most recent friendly match. 

Cole played as a deep-lying striker in the Hammers' 3-3 draw with Fulham in midweek and he says that he enjoyed playing in the unfamiliar position, alongside Andy Carroll. 

"I felt good out there, it was good playing up front with the big man, Carroll," he told the club's official site

"I was playing in the hole and pulling a few strings. It was good to see AC get back on the scoresheet and also set up one for [Kevin] Nolan. "

"If you were watching from a neutral point of view, I think it was a good game."

Cole has generally played as a battering-ram centre-forward for his career so far, but his showing last week highlighted another side to his game.

Although the 31-year-old may never be the most graceful of forwards, he proved that he could have an impact on a game, even as a less advanced forward.

Cole will be hoping that Sam Allardyce was impressed by his performance and now trusts him to perform a similar function in the Premier League.

The Hammers boss has already shown his ability to spot a potential playmaker, by moving Stewart Downing into a more central role with great effect, and Cole could be hoping to be the next player to benefit from this foresight.

With Carroll coming back, though, he is more likely to have even more of a backseat role if the side continue their good form.

Cole is likely to drop even further down the pecking order at the Boleyn Ground now and only a serious downturn in results or a succession of injuries would create the opportunity for him to start as an out-and-out striker. 

West Ham are currently in the top four and they will be looking to consolidate their lofty position after the international break. 

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