Zola ready for Keane encounter

Gianfranco Zola is relishing the chance to meet another old adversary in the shape of Roy Keane when West Ham United take on Sunderland this Sunday.

The manager was in light-hearted mood when quizzed about his memories of the tough-tackling former Manchester United midfielder during his playing days. "I've got a couple of studs in my ankle I need to give back," Zola said with a smile before adding: "He's a player that I admire very much. He was an example for his team and led by example. He is a leader and you respect him.

"It is so pleasant to see players that you played against for many years on the pitch and now you find they are managing like you are. I am going to very happy to meet him on the bench and at the end hopefully he won't be as happy as me but that is another story … he is doing a good job and I am pleased for him."

The emphasis this weekend will be firmly on a return to winning ways, with the manager hoping to build on the platform given by last week's draw with Portsmouth. "The players are very happy about that. It was something the players were looking for and now we need to start building on that. I am looking forward to seeing if we can take it into the game on Sunday which will be a tough match.

"We know exactly the situation and we don't have to think too much about it. We just need to focus on the next game which is going to be a tough match and I'm not looking back. I never do that."

Zola also said he will be going all out for the win with a fully-fit complement of strikers to choose from, including Diego Tristan. "That has been my policy since I came here. I like to go for the win all of the time. It was the same when we played Manchester United away. I think that nowadays everyone is looking for victories - even when they play away. It is a positive mentality, it makes the game more interesting and more spectacular."

The manager admitted he has learned much about his squad in recent weeks. "It's been an interesting period. Certainly I learned a lot from them about their physical conditions. When we came in we worked very hard and they responded very well straight away and then they went down a little bit down physically but now they are coming back again.

"The club put me in charge because I have that kind of mentality but I won't give up my ideas because I have had a bad spell of results, I keep faith in them. That's the only reason I went into management because I would like to make my ideas work. We will see but I am very positive that I will carry on the job in the way I want."