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Premier League

Zola warns West Ham not to sell

West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola would be "very annoyed" if the club renege on their promise not to offload anyone in the January transfer window.

With West Ham just a point off the bottom three, changes appear to be needed at Upton Park.

Reports suggest Zola will have to sell if he wants to buy in January, with speculation rife that Craig Bellamy could be on his way out in order to raise much-needed cash.

However, the Hammers boss insists he has been told he can keep all his star players.

"They are very good players and I'm not surprised that big teams want them," said Zola. "As far as I am concerned they are not for sale and I don't want to sell my best players.

"I want to try to improve the team if I can and that's the target for the January transfer window."

Zola confirmed that the list of those who have had a 'not-for-sale' tag firmly slapped on them includes Bellamy, Matthew Upson, Valon Behrami, Robert Green, Dean Ashton and Scott Parker.

He continued: "As far as I'm concerned no, they won't be going. The club have told me I won't be selling those players.

"I would be very annoyed if we did. They have to give me a very good reason if they do that.

"The club have been very good to me and I don't think they want to make this team weaker."

Zola refused to elaborate on how he would react if the club decided to sell Bellamy to bring in new players, and reiterated his faith in his employers.

"We can't really talk about what could be," he continued. "In football you never know.

"I won't be pleased because I want to improve the team.

"I have faith. The club remain positive and want to keep on with this project.

"If we can't make it with this team then we might make changes.

"Everyone wants to make this project work. We want to strengthen the squad."

Before the transfer window opens again, West Ham face Portsmouth and Stoke and Zola insists he is just focusing on those at the moment.

With only one win in their past 12 league games and having scored only five goals in those matches, the Hammers boss admits the pressure is on.

"This is part of the game," added Zola. "The pressure is on everybody.

"The pressure is on Portsmouth, Chelsea, it's all over. You have to keep confident and keep working.

"My strikers obviously feel like they want to do more. They have to carry on working and believe in themselves.

"If they lose that self-belief it makes it very difficult.

"At the moment we are just focusing on what we have here. If we can't get the team to progress then we might consider getting someone else, until then we've still got a couple of games."