Zola: We have a squad to stay up

WEST HAM boss Gianfranco Zola looked puzzled as he met waiting journalists following Sunday s 2-1 defeat by Everton, writes DAVE EVANS. So soon after the rousing win over Aston Villa, Zola was left wondering what happened to the turning point of the seaso

WEST HAM boss Gianfranco Zola looked puzzled as he met waiting journalists following Sunday's 2-1 defeat by Everton, writes DAVE EVANS.

So soon after the rousing win over Aston Villa, Zola was left wondering what happened to the turning point of the season that he had predicted after that injury-time victory.

"All I can see is that the team tried until the end," said the bemused manager.

"Physically they were good, but obviously we have to improve a little bit, and we will be working on that.


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"The attitude though, which is probably the most important thing, is right there and is a guarantee."

It is all very well having the right attitude, but if you haven't got the right players, and if you haven't got the strength in depth, then any team is likely to struggle.

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Zola though, feels that he has the right personnel to haul the club up the table.

"We can do that," he insisted. "But we are all, including myself, going to look for solutions for solving these problems.

"A team that plays as well as us has to get more points, so there is a lot of things to work on.

"I'm confident and I trust the players. I believe they are the best in the Premier League for me. We are determined to make a difference, so that is the point."

The absence of Carlton Cole on Sunday perfectly illustrated how little depth there is in the Hammers' ranks this season.

Guillermo Franco looks useful, but is not an out and out striker, while Zavon Hines is never going to lead the line in the way Cole does.

Terry Dixon is still a long way off a call-up to the squad, while Dean Ashton is never going to return, but Zola insists that he is not thinking about strengthening in the January transfer window - even if he had the money to spend.

"I don't like to think about the transfer window, it is too early," said the boss.

"I want to focus on what we have to do and work with these players. For me, there is no point in even talking about it."

Zola is doing his best to put a positive spin on things, something that worked last season when he turned fortunes around and pushed the Hammers into the top half.

But there is no disguising that the little Italian is struggling to work out what has gone wrong this term.

Is he worried?

"Worried? No," he reiterated. "Because I think we can certainly improve the situation.

"I am concerned obviously, as is everyone around West Ham, but we are going to fight until the end. We want to find the solutions and find them as quick as possible."

Zola will certainly be given time to turn things around, but with games against Hull City and Burnley coming up in the next three weeks, the destiny of the season and the future of the manager may well lie in those matches.

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