Zola mulls over a tactical switch

PUBLISHED: 10:17 13 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:46 05 October 2010

By JONATHAN CLEGG GIANFRANCO ZOLA is ready to ring the changes at West Ham in a bid to prevent the season from spiralling out of control. The Hammers crashed to a fifth defeat in six games last weekend as Everton overturned a one-goal deficit by scoring


GIANFRANCO ZOLA is ready to ring the changes at West Ham in a bid to prevent the season from spiralling out of control.

The Hammers crashed to a fifth defeat in six games last weekend as Everton overturned a one-goal deficit by scoring three times in the final seven minutes, leaving Zola's side just two points off the foot of the Premier League table.

West Ham have now gone 24 matches in a row without keeping a clean sheet and the Italian has admitted that he is "more than worried" about the threat of relegation.

But Zola insists he will not sit back and watch the club's season continue to unravel.

The Hammers boss is considering a complete tactical overhaul ahead of this weekend's crucial match against Portsmouth at Upton Park in an attempt to end his side's alarming slide down the table.

He said: "I am going to be working hard during the week. I have got a fantastic staff that I work with and we are going to be finding solutions.

"Everybody, including me, maybe we have to give something more. We have to react, we don't have to accept it.

"We are in a situation in which we have two ways to choose from - and the way I would choose is to react because I don't think we deserve to be leaving the pitch with our heads down.

"Maybe I need to change something. Maybe I'm not doing enough. But I'm going to be reacting that's for sure.

"The only thing I can say is we need to find a solution. I'm going to be looking for things to improve and working on that during the week."

The West Ham manager's first priority will be finding a cure for the club's horrendous defensive record and his team's worrying habit of conceding late goals.

The meltdown against Everton was reminiscent of similar collapses against Arsenal and Middlesbrough and Zola has revealed that he will be working to rectify the problem with assistant boss Steve Clarke, who developed a reputation as a leading defensive coach during his spell on the backroom staff at Chelsea.

"I am more than worried - I am disappointed and sorry because I don't think my players deserve to lose," Zola said of the Everton debacle.

"It was not the first time that we have spoiled a job in the last 10 minutes.

"It's something that concerns me very much right now, obviously, and to give an explanation is very difficult.

"I know the defence needs some work. Steve Clarke has been crucial since I started so we are going to be working together and the defence might be something to have a look at because it's something we need to improve.

"I'm going to be looking into that. We have to find solutions.

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