Zola welcomes pair

Gianfranco Zola has expressed his delight at welcoming Valon Behrami and Alessandro Diamanti into his West Ham United squad for Saturday's Barclays Premier League trip to Wigan Athletic.

Behrami returned from six months out with a serious knee injury in Tuesday's 6-0 reserve-team win over Birmingham City, while Diamanti scored twice in the same game on his competitive debut for the club.

Zola has named both in his squad for Saturday's visit to the DW Stadium, although he admitted the pair could start on the substitutes' bench against Roberto Martinez's side.

He said: "Behrami played the other day with the reserves and did very well. He's getting fitter and fitter. I am pleased that he might be involved tomorrow. It's good to have him back because he's such an influential player for us. He'll probably be on the bench.

"Diamanti is doing okay. So far he's been quite good straight away. He's one of those players who you can appreciate straight away, but he will certainly need a little bit of time because the Premier League is not easy and he will need some time to adapt. He is on the right way. The boy has got qualities."

New signings Manuel Da Costa and Switzerland Under-19 defender Fabio Daprela are also likely to travel to Lancashire after impressing against Birmingham.

Zola and his players will be hopefully of maintaining their unbeaten away record at Wigan, who have made an uncertain start to 2009/10 under new manager Roberto Martinez.

The Spaniard, who played for the Latics in the late 1990s before enjoying a successful two-and-a-half year spell as manager of Swansea City, scored a 2-0 opening-day win at Aston Villa.

Since then, however, Wigan have had a difficult time, losing to Wolverhampton Wanderers, Manchester United and Everton and being dumped out of the Carling Cup by Championship outfit Blackpool.

Despite his recent struggles, Zola believes the 36-year-old has the qualities to turn Wigan into a force to be reckoned with.

"He's not got an easy task, because I believe the team is playing differently from how they used to, so he'll have to be patient in imposing his ideas. But he's a good manager and he's done exceptionally well last year in Swansea.

"I'm sure he will get his team playing his own way - hopefully not tomorrow but in the next few weeks! He is a good manager and he will do well."