Zola encouraged by display

Gianfranco Zola was full of praise for his West Ham United side as they more than contributed to one of the games of the season on Saturday.

West Ham United twice came from a goal behind and looked set to earn at least a point before a late Fernando Torres header stole all three for visitors Liverpool. It was harsh on the Hammers, who had shown plenty of attacking endeavour, getting on the scoresheet thanks to penalty from Aleseandro Diamanti - on his full debut - and a Carlton Cole header.

One of the shining lights of a display of exhilarating attacking football was Zavon Hines, on his first home start in Barclays Premier League. The Jamaican-born forward was a constant thorn in the sides of the visitors - hitting the post in the first two minutes and winning the penalty from which Diamanti equalised.

"I think today he was fantastic," Zola enthused. "He did well last week but he was even better against a difficult team. The boy is taking his chances very well. He has been terrific as he helped the team defensively as well so congratulations to him. He is very good and he is making himself established in the team and that is down to his work and his attitude.

"You need to have players that can go on the pitch and make a difference. He did that today and we are hoping a few others will do it in the next few weeks. He is playing with a brave attitude and making an impact on the game so that is really good."

Indeed it was fellow home debutant Diamanti that got the Hammers back into the game after Hines had tricked Jamie Carragher into conceding a penalty in the 29th minute. The Italian stepped up confidently, but just at the crucial moment appeared to lose his footing. His manager explained afterwards that it was intended, albeit with a wry smile on his face.

"We decided before the game that he would take penalties. His penalty was very scary! He said to me that he slid but he said to me that he wanted to do it so it's a new kind of technique so that is OK. Diamanti played a good game, he was like Zavon and worked a lot for the team."

The result sees West Ham stay on four points, but after seeing his side lost their first two home games by just a single-goal margin, Zola is certain his side will soon start picking up the points that will move them up the table.

"I see what the players do on the pitch and the way they performed today was encouraging.

"I think we were unfortunate today not to pick up points. The rest is encouraging and I am sure we will get better and it won't be long coming."

There was also more positive news on the injury front as Zola revealed that the injuries that forced Matthew Upson and Valon Behrami from the field were not thought to be too serious, while Diamanti was only taken off after an all-action hour that took its toll.  

"It shouldn't be too bad. For Upson, the muscle got very tight so he had to come off before breaking it. Regarding Behrami, because he had been working a lot in the last few weeks I think he had a little problem with the sciatic nerve so he shouldn't be too bad."

There will be no time to think what might have been for the squad as they will be back at Chadwell Heath to prepare for Tuesday's third round Carling Cup tie away at Bolton Wanderers, when they could be boosted by the presence of Junior Stanislas and new recruit Guillermo Franco.