West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola has celebrated a year in the job by thanking chief executive Scott Duxbury for helping keep his best players at Upton Park.
Zola may have lost Craig Bellamy to Manchester City but England trio Matthew Upson, Robert Green and Carlton Cole are still Hammers players, as is Scott Parker, despite the backdrop of financial uncertainty at the club.
After finishing ninth in the Barclays Premier League last season, Zola is pleased with his first year and wants to build on it, saying: "It's been very good and is an achievement, but I want to share it with the club. (Technical director) Gianluca Nani and Scott Duxbury have been brilliant."
He added: "They believed in the project and never gave up on the idea of keeping the best players and actually trying to improve the team.
"That has been really good and I appreciate that. I was lucky because I had fantastic people on my side.
"(First-team coach) Steve Clarke has been massive in this way, and also (first-team coach) Kevin Keen and (fitness coach) Antonio Pintus.
"They helped me a lot and we have built up a fantastic management team."
Meanwhile, Danny Gabbidon, who made his first Premier League start in 21 months during the defeat at Wigan last weekend, said: "It just felt great to be out there again. It was a tough game and I enjoyed every minute of it.
"It's been a while since I've played full-back in the Premier League, and obviously I was disappointed with the result, but it was nice to get a game under my belt."
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