Exclusive: Allardyce - Cole can flourish at West Ham

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce tells ITV's Gabriel Clarke that offering Joe Cole regular football convinced him to move back to Upton Park.

"This is where it all started for him and where he fulfilled his dreams," said Allardyce.

"I think Joe, at 30 now, is ready to play football as long and as regularly as he can. That's been missing in his life and I think he's missed it so much that he needs to go back to being wanted."

Cole could feature in the FA Cup Third Round tie against Manchester United, live on ITV this weekend, and Allardyce hopes the former Liverpool and Chelsea midfielder is hungry to get back into action.

"I hope I've got an enthusiastic, experienced and mature player that's looking forward to getting on the pitch. If he plays to his best he's going to have a regular place in the team.

West Ham v Manchester United is live on ITV1 from 4:30pm on Saturday.