Zola wants players to shape own destiny
Tuesday 23 March 2010
Gianfranco Zola admits there is no point trying to predict what West Ham's relegation rivals will do - and wants his players to keep destiny in their own hands.
Following defeat at Arsenal on Saturday, the Hammers remain deep in trouble at the wrong end of the table after a fourth loss in a row ahead of Tuesday night's clash with Wolves.
"You do look at the fixture list of all the teams around you, but you cannot really work that way because you never know what will happen," Zola said. "On Saturday, I am sure there were not many people expecting Portsmouth to beat Hull or for Wolves to get a point at Aston Villa. You have to work out how to get your own points first, and then maybe look at the others."
Another reverse at home to fellow strugglers Wolves - a point and a place above West Ham - would heap more pressure on Zola, as co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan become increasingly concerned by the position of the east London club.
The Hammers, though, now have two home games which could well see them pull clear of danger, with Stoke coming to the Boleyn Ground on Saturday.
However, with difficult away trips to both Everton and Liverpool next month, sandwiched in between the visit of Sunderland and Wigan, Zola knows there is little margin for error.
Zola has demanded 100 per cent focus tonight, irked by his players' lack of composure against the Gunners as they failed to make the extra man count in the final third.
"The Wolves game will be massive, a six-pointer," he declared. "We have to face the match with focus and concentration, but without doing silly things."
Zola continued: "I would have been enjoying it a bit more if we were in a different position, but that is football. You still like the competitive side of it.
"The team is not in a very good position, but I am enjoying finding ways to get the best of my players in difficult conditions."
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