Cole looking for another level

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Football News

Carlton Cole admits he has to take his game to "a higher level" to have a realistic chance of making Fabio Capello's World Cup squad next summer.

The West Ham striker has featured in five successive squads and is included in Capello's plans for Saturday's home friendly with Slovenia and Wednesday's World Cup qualifier with Croatia at Wembley.

The former Chelsea player told Press Association Sport: "I feel I need to take my game to the next level to have a realistic chance of making the World Cup. I feel I've got to take my game to a higher level than I am playing now."

A positive result against the Croats will guarantee England's spot in South Africa for the finals in June.

But Cole is aware he has to continue to make the kind of improvement that has been a feature of his game since the arrival at Upton Park of Gianfranco Zola last season.

He added: "I'm trying my best. Every day in training I'm trying to improve on different aspects of my game and I know I'm far from the finished article. But hopefully this season will be another stepping stone for me to get up the ladder."

Cole added: "It's World Cup year and all the strikers here are top-quality strikers and they know what to expect. They have been in this position before.

"This is the first time I've been involved in something like this. I am happy to be involved and it is a great experience for me."

Cole is also aware he must be more prolific in terms of his goal ratio if he is to challenge the likes of Wayne Rooney, Jermain Defoe and target man Emile Heskey for a regular starting role with England.

He said: "I want to take every chance when it comes and take it with both hands really. I base my game on my physical presence in and around the box, my presence in the attacking third, unsettling defenders. But I know I've got to score more goals to become an England regular."

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Carlton Cole
Emile Heskey
Jermain Defoe
Wayne Rooney
Gianfranco Zola

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