Zola weighing West Ham future
Gianfranco Zola will consider his future as West Ham manager overnight after the club suffered their sixth straight Premier League defeat at home to Stoke this afternoon.
Hull's victory over Fulham at the KC Stadium means that only goal difference now separates West Ham from the relegation zone. Asked whether he would consider resigning, Zola left open all doors. "I have to find out what the problem is. If the problem is me, then why not? The players are trying hard for us. The bottom line is to see whether I can help them or not. I will consider overnight whether I am doing a good job or not," he said.
"Right now I am flat because we lost another game and it is the sixth and it is not good for me," he admitted. "It is very painful and I will think a lot about how the situation stands and find a solution. We will see what we can do. I will have to consider a lot about today's game. There is a lot to think about. I am not hinting towards anything.
"If I don't think I am the man I will let you know but right now the players are behind us, we just need to change something to be more helpful towards them," said Zola.
West Ham chairman David Sullivan said before the game that Zola would not be sacked if the club lost. Zola said he "thinks" he will still be in charge for next weekend's game against Everton but he expects a week of discussions with the clubs owners.
"I know my duties and I know right now the situation is not going the way it should. I am prepared to accept the situation," said Zola. "It is going to be a week in which we will be talking to each other."
Looking for support
Zola was critical of Sullivan's decision to write an open letter to supporters blasting the team's performance in Tuesday's 3-1 defeat to Wolves as "pathetic" and "appalling." But Zola reported that both Sullivan and co-owner David Gold had been "supportive" after the game.
"The owners are behind us. They saw the team tried very hard today. They were supportive and that is a very good starting point," he said. "The players will appreciate that. The players are feeling down and I am feeling down and to have that support is very good."
Stoke manager Tony Pulis believes Zola will need that backing now more than ever. "The chairman of West Ham has said he will back Gianfranco. He needs backing now. This is when you show your real colours and character," said Pulis. "He needs the players to roll their sleeves up and he needs some luck. In the Premier League if you string two or three wins together you shoot up the table. It will be interesting to see what backing Gianfranco gets. This is the time he needs that backing."
Pulis believes Stoke are one point from guaranteeing their top flight safety after Ricardo Fuller came off the bench to score a brilliant solo goal. "If we can get to 40 points that is definitely safe," he said. "We finished 12th last year with 45 points. Only one team has ever stayed up and beaten the tally in the second year. It would be lovely to get 46 points. To reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup and to beat that tally would be a real good season for us.
"It was a fantastic goal. Ric can do that. As a player, if he gets in that position he is so strong and his feet are so quick he can do that. It was a special goal," he said.