First-team coach Steve Clarke believes Gianfranco Zola will continue to evolve and improve his managerial skills over the coming season.

The West Ham United manager passed his first year in the job last month, having guided the Hammers to ninth in the Barclays Premier League table in his first season in charge.

While the club have not started the new season as Zola would have liked, Clarke believes his close friend will not allow recent results to affect his positive, expansive style.

Clarke compared Zola's position to that of Arsene Wenger in the week that the Frenchman became the longest-serving manager in Arsenal's history, having joined the Gunners in September 1996.

"I'm sure Arsene Wenger now, as a manager, is different from how he was 15 or 20 years ago when he went into the job. You're always evolving and learning, but I don't think anyone loses their personality, and Gianfranco has his personality. Everybody sees it and knows what he's like.

"He's not going to go from being a nice guy who is positive and tries to motivate people to get them going to being someone who jumps up and down and screams and shouts at them. Nobody does that. Nobody changes their personality like that."

While the manager admitted to being disappointed at the nature of last Monday's 3-1 defeat at Manchester City, Clarke too confessed to being frustrated. However, he hopes that frustration will be taken out on Fulham this Sunday.

Having come close to beating Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool in their opening two home league matches, Clarke believes the Hammers can end their winless run against the Cottagers.

"I was frustrated on Monday night, more than angry. I was really frustrated. I can see the talent we have in this group. You will have seen in some of the games we've played, those against Tottenham and Liverpool, that we've almost played very well and lost.

"It becomes frustrating when you have a talent and an ability to win matches against very good teams and suddenly you find that you're losing those games."

Having experienced a poor run of form last autumn before guiding the club to a top-half finish, Clarke also insists that there is plenty of time for the coaching staff and players to get things right this time around.

"We have experience of it, but I think after six games a little bit too early to start pushing any panic buttons or whatever. You have to know how your group is and we're finding the group is quite positive.

"If you look at the six matches, there are a lot of good things to take from them. The only good things we haven't taken are the points. Hopefully in the next six matches, we'll take more points than we did in the first six and we'll start to climb the table gradually and can start to assess where we are."