Great Scott key to Zola's Hammers vision

Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola has revealed his delight at convincing Scott Parker to sign a new contract at Upton Park

By JONATHAN CLEGG

Hammers boss Gianfranco Zola has revealed his delight at convincing Scott Parker to sign a new contract at Upton Park following another barn-storming display from the midfielder at Bolton last weekend.

Parker netted his first goal of the season at the Reebok Stadium, but a commanding performance from the 28-year-old was unable to prevent West Ham from slipping to a 2-1 defeat.

The Hammers were sunk by two early goals as Bolton executed a perfect smash-and-grab to take the points.


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England international Parker did his best to help West Ham recover, taking hold of the clash and driving forward from midfield.

Though he was unable to reverse the outcome, Parker's instrumental display underlined why he was the subject of a mega-bucks offer from Manchester City during the January transfer window.

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Parker rejected a move in favour of penning a new four-year deal at Upton Park - a development manager Zola believes is crucial to the club's long-term prospects.

"We are very proud to keep a player like him. It shows we are doing a good job and the players appreciate what we are doing," Zola said.

"It's not a matter of money because if it was he would have gone. He likes what we are doing here and that's a positive sign."

Now the Italian has urged fellow first-team stars Robert Green and Lucas Neill to follow Parker's lead by extending their contracts at West Ham.

Neill's current contract is due to expire at the end of the season and Hammers No1 Green has expressed unhappiness at the terms of his existing deal, yet Zola hopes both players will join Parker in committing their futures to the club.

He said: "Robert Green is due to sign a new contract and the club are also speaking to Lucas Neill. I think they're happy to stay.

"I don't think he (Neill) asked for a pay rise but I think the club have tried to make him happy.

"He is a player who has done a lot for us and the club want to extend his contract.

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