Zola focused on relegation battle

Gianfranco Zola and Steve Clarke have refused to be drawn on their futures at West Ham and instead insisted they are concentrating solely on the club retaining their Barclays Premier League status.

Zola has found himself under increasing pressure following the arrival of new owners David Sullivan and David Gold in January with the Hammers experiencing a woeful run of form which has seen them embroiled in a relegation battle.

Late last month Sullivan wrote an open letter to fans following the club's 3-1 home defeat by Wolves apologising for the "shambolic performance".

Zola's decision to return to Sardinia and give his players a three-day break days later was also questioned and he was forced to release a statement confirming he would fight for his future at Upton Park.

The Hammers' win over Sunderland last week has given them some breathing space as they are four points clear of the drop zone but Zola's future is still unclear.

He told BBC Five Live: "I am the manager of West Ham and my focus is to get them safe and then we will see what happens."

The former Chelsea forward admits the club's struggles this season had come as a shock, adding: "Absolutely. No-one was expecting it would be so tough. I think nothing comes from nothing so I think after this season everyone will be stronger."

However, the 43-year-old has faith in his team to survive.

"We are confident. We are improving, we are determined to keep fighting until the end.

"We know it's not going to be easy, but the determination and fight is there."

His assistant Clarke echoed the Italian's sentiments, saying: "The best thing to do now is to get the points we require - we're not sure what the points tally will be so we focus on the next game.

"We go to Liverpool and give a good account of ourselves.

"We take stock on Tuesday and see where we are and we build for the next game after that.

"We focus on the next game, that is as far as we look in this moment in time. It would be silly for us to look any further ahead so we look for the next game and we get the points we require to keep West Ham in the Premier League."

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