Zola ready for action

Gianfranco Zola was in buoyant mood ahead of Monday's visit of West Bromwich Albion with his West Ham United side going for their third straight Barclays Premier League win.

After a successful week away at a warm-weather training camp in Spain, the West Ham United manager is looking forward to getting back to business under the Boleyn Ground floodlights - assured by his confidence in the club's direction and the opportunity to start planning for the long-term future after what has proved a promising first campaign in east London.

He said: "Certainly we are in a good moment but we need to make sure that we keep the momentum. We have a good position in the league but we need to make sure that we keep the position. It's going to be more difficult from now on as we have a few injuries that will give us a few problems, but that doesn't matter as we will be stronger than this.

"This team is making my life very enjoyable. They are playing well and winning and for a manager that is fantastic. We are working hard every day to make it better and better. In football you need momentum to keep it going."

After a period of not getting the rub of the green in fixtures earlier in the season, Zola is delighted to have seen his side evolve into one of the form teams in the Premier League. In fact, if the league had begun on Boxing Day the Hammers would be sitting second. Zola explained that the transformation was not down to fortune but the hard work from everyone involved.

"Our worst period was in October when we lost five or six games. But if you analyse the games we lost in that period, until 75 minutes we were still either leading the game or drawing the game. After 75 minutes we were conceding and dropping points because our physical condition was going down.

"Since we improved the physical conditions things are going very well. We have improved physically as a team and now things are going very well and the team is getting what it deserves. We have tried to impose our regime and we are working a lot with the ball and that improves your physical conditions as well. So far things have been working very well."

West Ham will still be in seventh position come kick-off on Monday regardless of the results from games played earlier in the weekend. Despite having the advantage of knowing the outcomes of the other fixtures, Zola is thinking only about his own side's performance.

"It can be a good advantage for us [playing on a Monday]. We still need to play the game and play well if we want to win. In my opinion to win a game you need to look at yourself and give the best of yourself and not look at the others. For me the most important thing is we face the game and prepare properly and give the best we can. Then what the other teams did is not that important."

Monday night's opponents prop up the Premier League table and are without a win in eight games, but Zola has warned his side against complacency. He is also mindful that he is without the suspended Carlton Cole, who starts a two game ban, and knee injury victims Valon Behrami and Jack Collison. Zola, however, is looking forward to the opportunity to give other squad players the opportunity to impress.

"Behrami is out for a few months and Jack Collison has a knee problem and is going to be out for a few weeks. We have James Collins still out and Carlton Cole is suspended so we have a few problems but I'm confident as this team is a team and I'm pretty sure that this team is a team and I'm sure that the players will respond well to this moment."

"[The game] is not a gimme that is for sure. First of all they are bottom of the league but they are playing well. I have seen them play a few times and they play quite good football, they have been very unlucky on a few occasions and maybe conceded some goals they could have avoided.

"The big danger for us is we are playing very well and when you play the team that is last in the table that might give the players too much confidence and that is something we need to avoid at all costs."