Gianfranco Zola will use international break to plot West Ham relegation escape

Gianfranco Zola will devise a plan to lead West Ham away from the relegation zone this week as the Hammers boss battles to turnaround the club's worst start to a Premier League season

By JONATHAN CLEGG

Gianfranco Zola will devise a plan to lead West Ham away from the relegation zone this week as the Hammers boss battles to turnaround the club's worst start to a Premier League season.

The Italian, whose side equalled that record after Sunday's dismal draw against 10-man Fulham left the Hammers with five points from seven games, has admitted that he must act quickly to arrest his team's slide.

Two months into the campaign, West Ham have yet to win at home and remain rooted in 19th position in the league table.


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Zola will now use the international break to work out a strategy to rescue West Ham from the bottom three ahead of a daunting away trip to Stoke on Saturday week.

He said: "We have to improve and I am going to be working on that. We just don't have consistency to our game which will give us wins instead of draws and defeats.

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"It isn't a matter of commitment - the players are really trying hard and I don't think the game against Fulham was our worst performance.

"But the game is about details, and if you don't pay attention to the details you are going to keep dropping points. We have to raise their attention to that and that is my job to do that."

The Hammers boss admitted that his side's drab display at Upton Park was particularly disappointing given the circumstances of the match, which saw West Ham facing fellow strugglers Fulham in a game Zola had branded "a cup final".

Mistakes from Matthew Upson and Robert Green - two of the club's most senior players - saw West Ham surrender their half-time advantage within minutes of the restart.

And Zola has vowed that no player is immune from the drop as the manager works out a plan to repeat last season's battling win at the Britannia Stadium.

"This was a very important game for me and I am very concerned. When we conceded a goal, the whole team lost faith and belief and that attitude is something that I really hate.

"We have to react and we have to be stronger. No matter what happens, you keep playing your football. Conceding one goal or two goals doesn't mean you have lost the game.

"You have to react to the situation and carry on until the end.

"I am responsible for 20 players, not just one, so the players pick themselves with their performances. They have to keep up a high standard and if they don't they know there will be someone else who plays instead.

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