Zola: Hammers must believe

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Football News

West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola blasted his players' bad attitude after they scraped a 2-2 draw against 10-man Fulham.

A Carlton Cole header put the Hammers 1-0 up and Fulham had league debutant Kagisho Dikgacoi sent off five minutes before the interval. But West Ham crumbled as Fulham hit back to take the lead with a Danny Murphy penalty and Zoltan Gera's back-post volley. West Ham snuck a share of the spoils with a deflected strike from Junior Stanislas two minutes into injury time.

"We should have been more than 1-0 up at half-time and I had warned the players the game was not over," said Zola. "What was poor was that, when we conceded a goal, the whole team lost faith and lost belief, and that's what I really hate."

He added: "Arsenal were losing twice and in the end they beat Blackburn 6-2, so that's the sort of belief we have to keep.

"I don't like that kind of attitude. We have to react and we have to be stronger. We can't let this happen after one goal again. I made those points in the dressing room."

The Hammers remain without a victory since the opening day of the season and have now made their worst start to a campaign since 2002-03, when they were relegated.

Zola felt the draw was a fair result given West Ham's first-half dominance but, for all their attacking intent, they failed to stick the knife in and paid the price.

"I smelled something was wrong because it looked too easy. We were passing the ball fantastically well and creating chances but not scoring and that's not good," said Zola.

"In the second half, it's not the first time we've started a little bit sloppy. They got back in the game, then scored a second goal and, after that, it was difficult because Fulham are very, very good when they have to defend.

"It was very difficult for us to get the draw but, at the end of the day, it was a fair result. For me, this was a very important match. That's why I was concerned very much about this game. It was a key moment (in the season)."

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Carlton Cole
Junior Stanislas
Blackburn Rovers
Premier League
Gianfranco Zola
Zoltan Gera
West Ham United

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