Manager stronger for support

West Ham United are living up to their name ahead of Sunday's trip to Everton, according to Gianfranco Zola.

The manager has endured a difficult time over the past few weeks, with the Hammers losing each of their last six Barclays Premier League fixtures.

Zola admitted that he had lots to ponder last weekend, but has returned to Chadwell Heath from a short break in his native Sardinia refreshed and rejuvenated for the visit to Goodison Park.

With his players and coaching staff determined to put things right on Merseyside, the boss is up for the fight against David Moyes' men.

"The players have helped me very much. We are very much a unit. We know everybody here knows we are not doing a very good job right now, but we are trying very hard and we are committed to it.

"I'm here and I'm delighted to be here spending my time with my players and helping them. As long as I know that they are on the same lines as myself and there are no other problems, I know I can give them something that they need."

Zola also revealed that he had received messages of support from his close friends, family members and even fellow managers. "I've had a lot of support and I tell you that I'm blessed to be surrounded by people who are very supportive of me and that is a very important thing.

"The fact that you have people supporting and following you is the most important thing. Everything you do, you do for them. I've had a lot of support from them and from the players. Trust me, I don't like to leave things behind me that are undone and things are not completed and I believe that, here, there is still something to be done and I can play a big part in it."

The job continues with a tough-looking trip to an in-form Everton side that has not lost at home in the league since 29 November last year. With that record in mind, Zola is planning to make his side as hard to beat as possible this weekend.

"I see it's going to be a tight game, especially at the beginning. We are going to be trying to defend well against them because they have been in good form. I see us playing a good game, to be honest. I feel that they have prepared very well so I am positive about that.

"I am expecting that we're going to defend well and we're going to be very effective playing on the counterattack. That is what I am expecting is going to happen, and maybe nicking one or two goals on the break."