Carlton Cole believes West Ham must ‘play ugly’ to win matches

Striker urges Hammers to change tact and play long ball in a bid to pick up vital victories

“Hit it long, stop all the pretty stuff,” is the message from frustrated West Ham striker Carlton Cole.

It’s a quote which will send chills up your average West Ham fans’ spine. Supporters who for years have been used to watching football played on the floor with maintaining possession the backbone of their footballing philosophy.

Long ball is a method of football unlikely to go down too well in east London, but according to Cole, it’s the best way for the Hammers to capture much-needed points.

“I think now we need to change attitudes. I say, listen, I’m being honest now, I think we should play like Bolton – they are getting results. Play like Bolton, play like Stoke. Hit it long, stop all the pretty stuff,” he said.

“We try and play great football, we do, but right now we need to get results. I think I had just one cross today, apart from that I had nothing and as a striker, that’s starvation, that’s famine – what am I supposed to work on?

“Hopefully, next game, I want to play ugly. Ugly is the way forward for us now.

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“Play it long, I’ll try and put my head on it and let’s try and make something work from that.

“Let’s play ugly and get results. I don’t want to play pretty football any more, because pretty football is not getting us the results anymore.”

When five points adrift of safety, results are be key and Saturday’s match against Wigan is a must-win fixture.

Like West Ham, the Latics are also in the drop zone and after dropping points in winnable matches against Birmingham, West Brom and Blackpool, Cole is desperate for the club to make amends this Saturday.

“Wigan is a massive game and we have to turn things around,” he said.

“We thought after Birmingham that was going to be it with two home games, but we drew and that was not helpful.”

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