Cole back to boost Hammers
West Ham's bid for European football has been boosted by the return from injury of Carlton Cole.
By Richard Bailey
Last Updated: 14/05/09 4:08pm
West Ham's bid for a European place could be given a timely boost on Saturday with the return of Carlton Cole from a groin injury.
The Hammers top scorer has been out of action since March after picking up the problem while on international duty with England.
Manager Gianfranco Zola must decide whether the striker is ready to start or if he will begin proceedings on the bench for the weekend's clash at Everton.
The club have managed just five goals in eight games since the 25-year-old's injury but the Hammers are still just two points off Fulham in seventh and that coveted final Europa League spot.
"He is doing very well and will be in the squad," Zola revealed.
"He is fit and that is good news for us. He might start, we will decide the day before the game."
Unlike some of his Premier League counterparts this season the Italian insists if his side do qualify for Europe he will not treat the competition as a hindrance.
"It is possible if we pick up six points from two games," he added.
"Four might be enough but to be sure we want six. European football is very important for the squad, to give them a boost.
"If they are ready or not that is something I would like to try on the pitch. I realise playing in Europe is a big thing because there are many more games to play.
"We are willing to take that risk and would love to be in the competition."