Manager on Monday

Gianfranco Zola and his staff will be back down to work at Chadwell Heath today fully focused on the visit of Portsmouth and the chance to return to winning ways.

The manager said he would be working positively ahead of the weekend encounter to reverse a run that has seen his team dominate the last two matches away to Middlesbrough and then at home to Everton last Saturday only to see victory turned into defeat. "I am going to be working hard during the week," he said. "I have got a fantastic staff that I work with and we are going to be finding solutions.

"I have had so many difficult moments in my career and never let my self down. I am going to do the same. It is the only way I know how to react so I am going to be looking for solutions, looking for things to improve. Maybe I need to change something. I will try to find something that is good for the team. Maybe I am not doing enough. But I am going to be reacting that is for sure."

Zola, who will welcome back Carlton Cole from suspension next weekend, was rightly delighted with much of his team's play, not least Freddie Sears and Craig Bellamy, and Jack Collison's dynamism in midfield that culminated in a goal on his first senior appearance at the Boleyn Ground after four run-outs away from home. The 63rd-minute strike had looked like proving a winner until Everton's three late goals came out of nothing to shock the home faithful.

"Although they were very costly, it is very easy to only focus on those [final] ten minutes and forget about the previous 80 minutes. I am going to be looking at [what happened] but also pointing out some good things that have happened." One notable negative was the early loss of key defender Matthew Upson to a dead leg, although it is not thought to be too serious and Zola made no excuses.

"We work together as a team," Zola added. "We will carry on." With just three points separating half the division, victory against Portsmouth next week could take the club up to tenth and just a point behind their visitors. Along with Cole's return, there is hope as well that Valon Behrami and Diego Tristan could be in contention, although Collison and Sears have given the manager plenty to ponder.