When the squad came back together ahead of last weekend's game at Everton there was a fresh determination that West Ham hit rock bottom, that the only way was up.
And West Ham have since produced two performances packed with character and Cole is convinced they have turned the corner.
Zola's men came from behind twice to claim a vital point at Goodison Park and backed that result up on Saturday with a 1-0 win over Sunderland.
Cole said: "The break was good. Sometimes you need a little break to get out from the turbulence. We had a lot of stuff thrown at us which is sometimes unfair but sometimes you need criticism to progress.
"We just needed to get out of the mess we were in and we've done all right in the last two games.
"We were very resilient against Sunderland and the whole team performance was quality.
"I've got a lot of praise for the team the way they did their shift and I'm proud of us. I think we are on the route to doing what we set out to do."