'Carlton Cole's got your back' Cult hero speaks out on West Ham fans after criticism

West Ham United fans sing prior to the Premier League match between Manchester United and West Ham United at Old Trafford on August 13, 2017 in Manchester, England.

West Ham United fans have been criticised this season for leaving games early at their London Stadium home.

Fans arrive at the stadium prior to kickoff during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur at the London Stadium on May 5, 2017 in Stratford, England.

West Ham have endured a poor start to the campaign winning only two of their first seven Premier League matches.

And their victory over Swansea City at the London Stadium before the international break came after a turgid performance with many feeling the result merely papers over the cracks.

Slaven Bilic is a man under pressure with supporters leaving early in their droves during the last two home games against the Swans and bitter rivals Spurs.

Pundits and rival fans have been quick to mock the Hammers faithful for leaving early, pointing out that not many would have seen Diafra Sakho's 90th minute winner last time out.

Carlton Cole of West Ham celebrates his team's victory after the npower Championship - Playoff Final between West Ham United and Blackpool at Wembley Stadium on May 19, 2012 in London,...Carlton Cole celebrates helping West Ham back to the Premier League

But in a timely interview with West Ham's official website, cult hero Carlton Cole has lavished praise on the club's loyal supporters.

"I appreciated how the fans treated me and every time I go back they treat me very well," Cole told whufc.com.

"I’ve got so much respect for West Ham fans, because once you’re a West Ham player and have a good relationship with them, they’ll always respect you. Hats off to them.

"I’m very happy to be part of West Ham’s history and I’ll always love West Ham."

Carlton Cole of West Ham United is mobbed by fans during the Carling Cup second round match between West Ham United and Millwall at Upton Park on August 25, 2009 in London, England....Cole is mobbed by fans during the infamous Carling Cup match between West Ham and Millwall

Just when Hammers fans didn't think they could love Cole any more than they already do, his comments will further cement his place in their hearts.

While Cole often divided opinion with his performances as a striker he was never found wanting for desire or passion and did enter an exclusive club of forwards who have scored more than 50 goals for West Ham.

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