Positive approach for Sunday

Gianfranco Zola is a big fan of the style of play of Sunday's opponents but will not change his own attacking approach to stifle Arsene Wenger's visitors.

He said: "He is one of the managers I admire the most ... he is one of the managers I look up to. I like the way he manages the team and the way his team play. In England, Arsenal probably belongs to the top three or four teams and they are a very young team and can only get better and better and can achieve a lot.

"We are going to try to attack. If you sit and wait they will find a way to beat you anyway as they are very good. The danger can come from so many players. What teams like Arsenal don't like is when someone tries to hit them back. We will try to play our game and see if they are better than us. Simple as that."

The Arsenal fixture leads the way on a busy week. After the Gunners' visit, the team travel to Old Trafford on Wednesday before an even longer trip to Middlesbrough next Saturday. It is exactly this kind of schedule and the prospect of testing himself against the best that excites the manager. "It's going to be a tough game [against Arsenal] but I rely a lot on my players and I have so much confidence in them in what they are doing and so much confidence in what they can do, so I will have a very good night's sleep!"

Zola did not register a win against Arsenal in 12 attempts as a player but hopes he will enjoy slightly better fortune as a manager. "Yes they are quite a difficult team to beat as a player, maybe it might change now as a manager - I hope so. They have always been a difficult team to beat and they will be this time as well but things can be changed."

Despite the tough looking fixture list, Zola believes a victory in one of those games could have a big impact. "You become better by playing through these games. You have to be big enough not to have any worries and just get enjoyment from it."

Zola's forward line has been boosted by the return of Craig Bellamy against Hull and the form of striker Freddie Sears, one of a number of youngsters to impress for the reserves against Arsenal reserves in midweek. "My hope is that we are going to develop them in this club. It's always been good because it has already some good players," Zola said.

"Freddie Sears has already played and I have good expectations of him. We also have some other good players coming through and hopefully they will get better. We are making these training sessions to get them when we have the opportunity to come in and play with us so they have a feel of that to make them better. I have a lot of faith in them," he added.

Zola is clear about how he wants to achieve success - through developing young talent. "That is the reason I came to this club. The project I was presented by Scott Duxbury and Gianluca Nani was to come to this team, get talented young players and try to develop them. One day maybe we can compete with the big teams, at a high level, with the players we have brought up. That is the plan. That is what I like about this job."

"The plan is this club wants to become competitive and become one of the top teams in this country. But we want to do this through developing talented players, maybe through bringing in some young talented players and maybe developing the players we have over here. That is the plan and that is what we will do."

Zola says he is relishing the work he is putting in with his squad on the training pitch as he looks to pass on his knowledge to the next generation. "Training is the part of the job I enjoy the most. It is the one I have spent of my career building up that part and it is the part I like. That's why I say the players can only become better through training sessions and they are made to improve you. So I am going to be emphasising that all of the time."