Zola looking forward

Gianfranco Zola cannot wait to unleash his new attacking trident on Burnley.

The West Ham United manager has three new forwards in his squad for Saturday's Barclays Premier League trip to Turf Moor in the shape of Benni McCarthy, Mido and Ilan.

The trio, who all completed moves to the club on Monday, has impressed Zola in training at Chadwell Heath, and the manager revealed all three could be involved against the Clarets.

With Burnley on a run of 12 league matches without a victory, the Hammers boss also revealed that a win in Lancashire would provide his players with a huge confidence boost ahead of the visit of Birmingham City in midweek.

"We know Benni is a goalscorer and that's why we brought him here and we're looking forward to seeing him producing goals for us.

"Mido has been a surprise. He is working hard and he wants to prove himself, so he has started with the perfect attitude, which is very important, because he knows his starting position, and everything he is going to achieve in this club, he will have to conquer it.

"To be honest, he has been brilliant so far, and I look forward to seeing him train like this for a long time.

"Ilan has only trained twice with us, but he looks OK. He is a good player. Obviously I need to see him a little bit more to have a more valuable opinion, but he is sharp and a skilful player and can give us good help."

While Zola now has a plethora of forwards at his disposal, with McCarthy, Mido and Ilan joining the likes of Carlton Cole, Frank Nouble, Freddie Sears and Alessandro Diamanti on the journey north, the manager insisted the Hammers would be seeking to continue their fine recent defensive record.

The back five of Robert Green, Julien Faubert, James Tomkins, Matthew Upson and Jonathan Spector have conceded just one goal in the club's last three matches, an impressive record Zola is keen to extend at Burnley.

"What has influenced us was the fact that, at the beginning of the season, we could never play the same formation for more than two games. That was a big thing, trust me, because we were always changing players and formations and the team shape, and that didn't help to find a good balance.

"We want to score more goals but, at the same time, we want to keep it tight at the back. In the last few games we didn't score many goals, but we didn't concede many as well. I would like to just be a little bit more prolific in front of goal, but keep the same attention defensively that we've had in the last few games.

"In the few games since Chelsea, it's been very hard to score against us, so that is a very good starting point. Now we have to create more opportunities and score more goals."

While the manager has total confidence in his players' ability to bring three points back from Turf Moor, he is acutely aware of the need to avoid the backlash from a Burnley side that has lost its last four league games.

"They're not [doing too well recently], but I don't trust it. I know it's going to be a tough game and if we want to produce a good result, we have to perform. The team is ready and we're looking forward to the match.

"I think it's massive. It's a game, first of all, against a team on more or less the same points as us, so it will be vital not to give them anything. Plus, on the psychological side, it will be massive not to give them anything. To get a good result against them with two home games to play would be massive. We won 5-3 in the home game and I would take 3-5 this time, but I wouldn't mind 1-0 to be honest!"