Manager on Monday

Gianfranco Zola is determined to see his side finish a difficult season on a high note even if Barclays Premier League survival is all but assured already.

A dramatic 3-2 defeat of Wigan Athletic on Saturday, that owed much to fine displays from Robert Green, Mark Noble and man of the match Scott Parker, and heavy losses for Hull City and definitely demoted Burnley eased relegation fears. Ilan and Radoslav Kovac scored in the first half but it was Parker's piledriver which decided matters in a tense five-goal contest.

Unsurprisingly, Zola pushed Parker's England claims when asked whether he too should join Green, Matthew Upson and Carlton Cole in Fabio Capello's pre-FIFA World Cup thoughts. He acknowledged that he might be biased, though, towards a midfield man who has so often lifted the team this season.

"I'm his manager and one of his admirers - but mine wouldn't be a fair judgement. He's been doing it week in week out for us. The problem is there are strong players in front of him. But I'm sure Capello is keeping an eye on him and I would be delighted if he made the World Cup."

Domestic matters are really only what concerns Zola and he can breathe a little easier this week after a tough campaign when the team get to work at Chadwell Heath. But for a huge swing in goal difference and Hull making up a six-point deficit in the last two matches, the Hammers will be playing in the top flight next season.

Zola, who could have Luis Boa Morte back for next weekend after missing the whole campaign to date, is adamant that there is a job to be done yet. "We still have work to do and two more games to play but it will be a big deal for me to keep us up. I have put so much into it, as have the players - physically and emotionally.

"The Wigan result and the last two matches can change our season and we have to give our best next Sunday at Fulham and then at home against Manchester City. It is my job to produce good results and that is all that I am thinking about. "

As season-defining moments go, Parker's strike and celebration with his manager on the touchline was up there. Zola has been at pains not to make excuses for the previous financial difficulties and selection worries which were only allayed once the new joint-chairmen arrived in January but admitted he struggled to keep his feelings inside at that pivotal point on Saturday.

"There was a lot of pressure and the winning goal from Scott Parker was a big relief," he added. "He was brilliant once again. It was a cracking goal from a cracking player and he deserves all of the praise.

"It has been an emotional year and that was the moment that it all came out. It was an unbelievable goal. It was one of the best experiences I have had at this club and the celebrations were fantastic."

Zola, whose team have won two and drawn one of their last four matches, would love to secure 40 points before the end of the campaign and there is an outside chance of finishing in 14th place - with the extra money on offer for each league a major incentive for the club.

"Let's concentrate on finishing this season in a proper way and in style. I want to get as many points as possible and see if we can finish higher up the table. We owe that to everybody."