Zola: Fans should blame me not the players

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Gianfranco Zola told West Ham's furious fans to blame him and not the players after last Tuesday's 3-1 defeat to Wolves plunged the Hammers deeper into relegation trouble.

Kevin Doyle set Wolves on their way before Ronald Zubar and Matthew Jarvis struck inside three second-half minutes to lift Wolves seven points clear of danger. Guillermo Franco came off the bench to score in injury time for West Ham but it was the hollowest of consolation goals.

The Upton Park crowd voiced their anger with chants of "you're not fit to wear the shirt" - but Zola insisted the fans direct any frustration in his direction, he said: "I think that chant is a little unfair because the players they tried everything."

Zola added: "The players did their best but in a disjointed way and it made it very difficult for us. They played as individuals.

"That is very, very painful for me because it is my duty to correct it. The team is not playing very well and I take responsibility for that.

"If (the fans) want to pick up on somebody they must pick up on me because I am responsible.

"If they want to chant something they must chant about me. They have to leave the players because they belong to West Ham, they are working for West Ham and they are committed to West Ham.

"If they want to pick up on somebody they must pick up on me.

"Last year when we were playing well, I was getting compliments. I took the compliments, I can take the criticism as well. But they should leave the players.

"The players need to be confident when they take the field. My concern is the team and I have to make sure they react in the right way. I have a long night in front of me to think about that."

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