Zola hopes to avoid injuries

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West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola is hoping he will be luckier than his predecessor when it comes to injuries.

The Italian takes charge of a team for the first time on Saturday when the Hammers host Newcastle. Alan Curbishley often had to make do without experienced players through lack of fitness and Zola will already be without Dean Ashton at the weekend, with Craig Bellamy rated as doubtful.

Zola said: "I know that at this club there have been a lot of injuries and we have been very unlucky. We have been working hard trying to improve this and with a bit of luck it will."

He added: "I don't know the training system they had before and I don't want to say we had loads of injuries because of that. When Alan was here he did a great job and I hope I can carry on from that job."

Zola watched last week's 3-2 defeat at West Brom from the stands before taking charge on Monday and revealed he intended to sharpen up the Hammers in all areas.

He said: "Obviously you also have to keep a balance. The idea is to get to the point where we play offensive football as much as possible. But we also have to work on the defence.

"We are trying to look at things defensively but also passing the ball."

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West Bromwich Albion
Craig Bellamy
Premier League
Dean Ashton
Gianfranco Zola
West Ham United

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