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Cole hails 'inspirational' Scott Parker team-talk


Parker team talk was inspirational - Cole

West Ham's Carlton Cole praised captain Scott Parker for his "inspirational" half-time pep talk as the Hammers came from 3-0 down to draw with West Brom.

Cole, who suffered a mouth injury as he scored the second of West Ham's three goals, said Parker's passion spurred them on to fight back.

"We were diabolical but at half-time Scott was inspirational," said Cole.

"Scott was in the zone - I've never seen him like that. If you were there you would have had a tear in your eye."

Cole's goal added to Demba Ba's double as West Ham clawed their way back from 3-0 down at half-time to claim a valuable point in their quest for Premier League survival.

But, according to Cole, West Ham are indebted to their captain for his rousing locker-room monologue.

Grant pleased with Ba contribution

"Scott Parker showed a lot of passion in the changing room and it spurred us on," said Cole. "We did not want to disappoint ourselves, the manager, our families and the fans.

"I know you could say that if you are a professional footballer then you should have that in you anyway, but sometimes you need your captain to step up like that."

Cole also praised his strike-partner Ba and substitute Frederic Piquionne, whose second-half cameo proved pivotal for the visitors.

"Demba Ba came on and took the game by the scruff of its neck with two goals," said Cole. "He hit the post and was unplayable today."

"Frederic Piquionne came on and set up my goal and showed a great attitude. Obviously he was not in the starting line-up today but came on and led us to getting the draw. I can't speak highly enough of him."

West Ham boss Avram Grant was also full of praise for Piquionne, and blamed elementary defensive errors for West Ham's first half capitulation.

"It is good that we have Frederic Piquionne back because during the first half of the season, when we had injuries, we did not have attacking options on the bench. But now we have that option and a player like Frederic coming off the bench can make the difference.

"But the standard of our defending and organisation in the first half was not good," admitted Grant. "It was difficult for West Brom in the second half because we attacked so well. Our play was very lively and clever."

Appleton keen to learn from Hodgson

Michael Appleton, who took charge of West Brom as new boss Roy Hodgson watched from the stands, praised his side for their explosive start and says he is eager to learn from Hodgson.

"We got off to a fantastic start and I couldn't have asked for anything better. It was exactly how we had planned in the week.

"But 3-0 is a dangerous score," added Appleton. "Momentum is a massive thing in football and once we conceded a goal we had our backs to the walls. Towards the end we had to make sure we dug in because if we had lost the game it would have been a disaster."

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see also
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