Zola signs new contract

West Ham United manager Gianfranco Zola has pledged his long-term future to the club by signing a new contract until 2013.

A delighted Zola put pen to paper in his dressing room office following Saturday's match with Chelsea at the Boleyn Ground. He was joined by CEO Scott Duxbury and technical director Gianluca Nani.

"I am delighted to have signed the contract," Zola said. "I'm very pleased and grateful for the club for looking after me. We have a project that we are taking forward with the coaching staff and with Gianluca Nani and Scott Duxbury. We are very much working together and we believe very much in the project we are working on. We are going to try everything we can to make it happen."

Zola added that he expects first-team coach Steve Clarke to follow suit by signing a new contract within the "next few hours," with the club set to confirm his signature early next week with all agreed on the deal. The duo's commitment comes after ten first-teamers have signed new deals during the current campaign.

Duxbury said the manager's faith in the club's direction was a major lift for everyone. "We hope we can achieve success this season but we are very much looking at the long-term with Gianfranco," he said. "With Steve Clarke soon to sign, we know we have the foundation for great success. It is a very bright future for West Ham United.

"Everything Gianfranco said to me when I first met him in Rome has come true. He said he would enhance the philosophy of what West Ham United is about which is bringing the youngsters through and that has happened. We are very confident for the future."