Zola in for the long haul

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Gianfranco Zola remains determined to make a success of his first managerial job with West Ham, declaring: "I want this fight".

The former Chelsea forward, who took charge at Upton Park in mid-September, has found himself embroiled in transfer speculation over the future of key men like striker Craig Bellamy and captain Lucas Neill, while also having to deal with the uncertainty surrounding both the ownership of the club.

But the Italian said: "I want this fight, I am ambitious and I want to become better. That is why I took this job."

He added: "I was in Sardinia spending my time in 20 degrees of sunshine and playing golf, I could have stayed there.

"I had no interest in the money, I did not need it. I came here because every day I want to become a better person and a better manager.

"I love the task that I have, I know that it is difficult, I have had many problems, but I am still here smiling, which is the most important thing, although maybe I am losing some hair, but I can cope with that."

Zola insists he has been given assurances any off-field issues will not impact on team affairs.

"There has been a lot of talk about this club and the [financial] situation, having problems and going into administration, but I have a great relationship with CEO, Scott Duxbury, and [technical director] Gianluca Nani," he said.

"We are very committed to building something important at the club. They always assure me the club is fine and I trust them totally."

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Craig Bellamy
Premier League
Lucas Neill
Gianfranco Zola

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