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By ESPN Staff

Cole signs new five-year contract with West Ham

Striker Carlton Cole has signed a new five-year contract with West Ham.

The 25-year-old, the club's top striker with four goals from 12 games, joined from London rivals Chelsea in July 2006.

He told his club's website: "I am very pleased to sign. It is nice that I can just focus on playing good football for the club. I know now I am here for quite a while so it is time to knuckle down. The manager has 100% faith in me and I have got 100% faith in him and our team as well.

"It is good that I have got this opportunity to show West Ham supporters, and prove to myself, that I can be a big part of the prospects to come.''

Cole, who has benefited from the injury-enforced absence of England striker Dean Ashton, continued: "We are playing some good football, the results are starting to turn in our favour and the only way is up from now.

"Hopefully the manager can get the team where he wants us to be and I reckon we will do really well.''

The club's chief executive officer Scott Duxbury added: "I am delighted Carlton has agreed a new five-year contract and committed his long-term future to the club.

"He is a major part of Gianfranco Zola's plans and he deserves this new deal for his continued good form and dedication to the West Ham United cause. This news underlines that as a club we are thinking only of moving forward and are on a sound financial footing.

"We have a clear football project and have invested heavily in the medical and technical departments. That is paying dividends, and securing key players on long-term contracts is a major part of this project.''

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