The former West Ham striker wants to make sure the club are replacing players with quality.
The former striker said: “You have players that get you out of the Championship and then players who help you establish yourselves as a Premier League club and we have done that now thanks to Big Sam.
“Those players have all played their part and I just hope we can replace them. You want to replace them with even better players because otherwise we will be going backwards.”
Of the players Cottee references, Guy Demel and Jussi Jaaskelainen were released, along with Carlton Cole and Nene. The first three were all part of the squad when Sam Allardyce won promotion and then established them in the Premier League, and they did very well to secure Europa League football this term - even if it was through the fair play table.
However, this quality of player is not needed in Europe, and with the Hammers’ ambitions of moving towards the top six and challenging the upper echelons of the league table.
The type of players West Ham should be signing are those with European experience, who can come to the Premier League and help the club progress to the next level.
It is this need to improve in the transfer market that Cottee has highlighted, with the outgoing players needing to be replaced by quality, who will improve the playing squad. If they do not sign better players, there is no progression, and Cottee believes that will mean the club is moving backwards.
The East London outfit are looking to move forwards and start to become an upper-table Premier League side, and this summer will prove vital in rebuilding a playing squad capable of doing that.