Squad focused

Gianfranco Zola believes a positive performance against Arsenal could be the perfect catalyst for a brighter future for West Ham United.

The Hammers go into Sunday's Barclays Premier League fixture inside the bottom-three, but the manager said spirits are high at the Boleyn Ground. Having successfully steered the club to a ninth-place finish last season, he remains confident of doing likewise this time around.

As such, a relentlessly upbeat Zola is channelling his considerable energy on the job in hand - namely securing victory over the Gunners and three valuable points - and insisted that a good result would lead to a more positive outlook off the pitch.

"Obviously, I would love to see a little bit more tranquillity around this club. I know there are always problems around, but we dealt very well with them last year.

"We focused on the pitch and we worked on the pitch and made things much easier for the club and for everybody. That's what I believe in. Football is very important to that. If you make things happen on the pitch, then everything becomes easier. I really believe that."

When asked if he had ever been tempted to think again about his role, Zola restated his commitment to his players, to the club and the supporters.

"I don't give up. I know, as a manager, I can work on the situation. I'm not leaving a situation like this and I am determined. The frustration I can deal with. Last year, we went through the problems and this year we'll do the same."

"This will improve me as a manager, there is no doubt about that. This is a challenge for me because of the person that I am. It is putting me in situations I have never faced in my life and probably I don't like very much. Trust me, the determination is there to succeed.

"I wouldn't think it has changed me. I wouldn't change myself for anything. Obviously I need to be stronger and I will be, but it hasn't changed me."