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Swiss ace praises Zola

PUBLISHED: 07:21 27 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:50 05 October 2010

VALON BEHRAMI insists West Ham have vindicated Gianfranco Zola s commitment to attacking football after they finally eased the pressure on the Hammers boss

By JONATHAN CLEGG

VALON BEHRAMI insists West Ham have vindicated Gianfranco Zola's commitment to attacking football after they finally eased the pressure on the Hammers boss.

Behrami's first goal for the club at the Stadium of Light last weekend sealed a vital 1-0 win over Sunderland and ended a woeful run that had threatened to plunge West Ham into the Premier League's drop zone.

Zola's pledge to bring entertaining, free-flowing football to Upton Park yielded back-to-back victories in September, but the Hammers had since failed to win in seven matches before Behrami's deflected effort secured all three points on Wearside.

Yet Behrami is adamant the West Ham squad never doubted the Italian's methods and believes the club can use the victory over Sunderland as a springboard for the rest of the campaign

He said: "It was a vital win for us and it's a performance and a result that shows the team are fully 100 per cent behind the manager. Hopefully this win takes the pressure off a little.

"Two months without a win made it difficult to go on to the training ground and this is just what we wanted. The manager has stuck to what he believes in and hasn't panicked.

"We'll come out of this experience stronger for it. We're not out of this difficult situation yet but this shows we're heading in the right direction."

Behrami fired West Ham in front against the run of play at the Stadium of Light, lashing home Nyron Nosworthy's weak clearance via a deflection off Kenwyne Jones, and Sunderland were guilty of failing to take a string of first-half chances.

The Black Cats were also aggrieved that defender James Collins was not shown a red card for bringing down Djibril Cisse and Jones in separate incidents that could have produced two penalties.

Behrami acknowledged that the Hammers had enjoyed a rare slice of good fortune in surviving both incidents, but the Switzerland international admits that the Hammers must not get carried away with the win as they face Liverpool, Spurs and Chelsea in the coming weeks.

"This is just one win and we have to build on it. We've got a really tough schedule looking at the next month, so the hard work is just beginning," he said.

The 23-year-old added that he should have settled the outcome shortly before half-time when Craig Bellamy dispossessed former Hammer Anton Ferdinand and squared for Behrami, who inexplicably struck the bar from point-blank range.

He said: "The ball was fast and it was easy to score but I don't know what happened.

"Maybe two goals is too much for me. When I score two goals in one game, football is finished.

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