Football

Win could be turning point - Zola

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Gianfranco Zola believes West Ham's first Barclays Premier League home win of the season could be the turning point for his side as they lifted themselves out of the bottom three with a 2-1 victory over Aston Villa.

A penalty from Mark Noble and an injury time winner from substitute Zavon Hines gave Zola's side a massive lift. But they also had England goalkeeper Robert Green to thank for the win after he saved a 49th minute penalty from Ashley Young, who atoned for his blunder with an equaliser two minutes later.

"The team is playing better and this may well be the turning point," said Zola. "We demonstrated desire and belief and that's what we wanted. Everything else is there. It was a fantastic game to win."

He added: "We got the reward we wanted in the end. I believed and so did the players.

"Every time I play Hines he's been very good. He just needs to keep working the way he is doing. I am very pleased for him and for us."

West Ham were hampered by the loss of Herita Ilunga and England striker Carlton Cole in the first half. Both players collected hamstring injuries and that could rule Cole out of England's forthcoming friendly with Brazil in Qatar.

"It was unbelievable," said Zola. "The way we started the game was perfect and then we lost Herita and Carlton and the atmosphere went a little bit flat among the players.

"But the second half was a different story and we got our reward.

"I don't think the injuries are serious but they are both hamstrings. We will assess them in the next couple of days."

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Topics:
Carlton Cole
Football
Herita Ilunga
Premier League
Mark Noble
Ashley Young
Gianfranco Zola
Aston Villa
Robert Green
Zavon Hines

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