Zola plays down West Ham rift rumours

West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola has not fallen out with chief executive Scott Duxbury and technical director Gianluca Nani over his club's transfer dealings.

The Hammers have made their worst start to a Premier League campaign since the relegation season of 2002-03, and Zola blasted his players' bad attitude after yesterday's 2-2 draw with 10-man Fulham.

Nani is in charge of player recruitment at Upton Park, and reports over the weekend stated Zola was upset with the decision to sell Craig Bellamy in January and James Collins during the summer transfer window.

In their place, West Ham have signed the lively Italian striker Alessandro Diamanti and Portuguese defender Manuel da Costa - who has made just one league appearance so far this season.

But Zola insists he has been involved in shaping the current squad and has not lost faith in his players after a run of six league games without a win.

"The squad is very good. I am very happy with the players I have got. I decided to have them and I am going to work with them," he said.

"I have always said that what we're doing here is something we are doing together. My relationship with Gianluca Nani and Scott Duxbury is wonderful. We are working very well together, as we said last year when we came together, and we are even closer.

"We have a strong spirit, and nothing will stop us from trying to achieve success.

"The points are not coming in the way we want, but we will respond on the pitch.

"Obviously we can certainly be better than what we are. I remain positive, because there is big potential.

"This is a moment where every single mistake is costing us very much."

West Ham were 1-0 up and cruising at half-time against Fulham but lost all composure once Danny Murphy equalised from the penalty spot immediately after the interval.

Poor defending allowed Zoltan Gera to volley Fulham ahead, before Junior Stanislas came off the bench to strike the deflected equaliser two minutes into added time.

Zola vowed to crack the whip and will have no qualms about dropping senior players if he feels it necessary.

"This was a very important match," he said.

"We need to improve the focus. The game is made by details - and if you don't pay attention to the details you will keep dropping points. It is as simple as that.

"We have to raise our attention, and I am here to do that.

"I don't pick the players - they pick themselves with their performances. The players know that if they don't do the work then somebody else will play instead."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Rocky road: Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino play an estranged husband and wife in 'San Andreas'
filmReview: In the face of all-round devastation, even Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson appears a little puny
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Bright lights, big city: Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles by dusk
books
Sport
Harry Kane makes Paul Scholes' Premier League team of the season
footballPaul Scholes on the best players, managers and goals of the season - and the biggest disappointments
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor