Zola targets 10 more points with West Ham

West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola believes his team need 10 more points to beat the drop - and is challenging his players to upset the form book and pick three of them up at former club Chelsea tomorrow.

The Hammers' disappointing 2-1 home defeat to Bolton last weekend leaves them on 27 points, three above the Barclays Premier League relegation zone with 10 matches remaining.

With their next two games coming away at title challengers Chelsea and Arsenal, many believe it will be West Ham's final eight fixtures which will determine whether they reach the 37-point mark demanded by Zola.

But the Italian sees no reason why the recovery following the loss to Bolton cannot start at Stamford Bridge, a ground where he served Chelsea with distinction between 1996 and 2003.

"Personally, I think 37 should make it for us," Zola said, when asked how many points his team will need to secure their top-flight status.

"Some people are saying less, but I want to be sure that 37 will be a good target for us.

"It will be fantastic for me to win at Stamford Bridge. The situation is that we need those points. For me and my team, I think it will be a big boost forward.

"I think we have enough quality here to do it. But we have to improve our consistency."

Zola will make changes to his team, in terms of both preparation and personnel, for the Chelsea match.

Fit-again centre-back Danny Gabbidon is set to come into the line-up in place of James Tomkins, who was arguably at fault for both goals West Ham conceded against Bolton.

England striker Carlton Cole could start up front on his own, with Zola reverting to a 4-5-1 formation as he looks to improve his side's dreadful away record this season.

Zola was unhappy with the way the Hammers started against Bolton, who scored both their goals in the opening 16 minutes, and is demanding his players switch on from the first whistle.

"It's important in the Premier League that you start the game very well because it really dictates the result," he said.

"The way we started against Bolton, it wasn't good enough. They were better prepared than us and they won the game. That was a big lesson.

"Tomorrow it's going to be important to start properly. And another important thing is going to be the organisation, the desire to be a team and play more like a team.

"It's something in my opinion against Bolton we didn't do very well. That will be vital."

In an online poll on Chelsea's website in 2003, Zola was voted the club's greatest ever player. He scored 80 goals in 312 matches for the Blues and is still a firm fans' favourite in west London.

When Zola returned to Stamford Bridge last season as West Ham boss - in December 2008 - he did not celebrate when Craig Bellamy opened the scoring for the visitors in a 1-1 draw.

Given his side's current predicament at the wrong end of the table, he may change tack should the Hammers take the lead tomorrow.

"Let's score first and then we will see!" he said. "It's a lot about the moment.

"That doesn't mean I wasn't pleased that we scored a goal. That's was just the way I wanted to express the moment.

"I have a lot of people at Chelsea who are special to me. I always care and treat them with respect. It's a place where there are lots of memories for me. Every time I go back, it's a pleasure.

"But my commitment to West Ham is massive and total."

With Julien Faubert ruled out with a hamstring injury, Jonathan Spector could be switched from left-back to right-back, with Swiss youngster Fabio Daprela coming in as a replacement.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor