Mido makes an impression

Gianfranco Zola is relishing working with his new-look attack and has singled out Mido for special praise after a hard week of training.

The manager has plenty of options at his disposal against Burnley this afternoon with the arrival of Mido, Benni McCarthy and Ilan this week to complement Carlton Cole, Freddie Sears and Frank Nouble. Guille Franco is also close to a full training return.

It is Mido that has perhaps had the most attention in the past few days with the Eygpt striker having a point to prove after his previous Premier League experiences. Zola has been impressed by the striker's efforts this week out on the pitches at Chadwell Heath.

He said: "The most important thing for him is to get accustomed to the others and them to get accustomed to him. Then obviously I will monitor him and see if he needs to do any special work. For now the most important thing is we get used to him.

"If he produces a lot for us there is every chance that he will be earning more next season. I don't know if is he has a goals bonus in his contract. I never get involved in details like that. My focus is on the pitch, the rest is a club matter.

"Mido is a talent to everybody. He's strong but also he has got a very good touch and he has a good presence.

"What has impressed me in the first few days of training sessions is his touch under pressure. It's very good. And you can see how he receives the ball when he's pressed, he is not afraid of controlling the ball, something that Carlton Cole has got."

Such sights in training have given the manager a new perspective, after having to cope with limited options in the final third for much of the campaign.

"[The striker situation] is completely different story for me because I have always had a situation where I had to invent a situation to solve the solution.

"But the situation will take care of itself. There are six or seven, but the best two will play. It could be Sears and Nouble, but it is very important players understand football is competitive and you have to produce. I hope they enjoy the challenge as much as I do."

That said, the manager stressed this season's top scorer Cole was in the box-seat when it came to his starting lineup. "He is a very important player and he stays an important player for us and we will see how he performs. I think he will be ready to start. Not 100 per cent, but I think he'll be very close to being fit."

The manager concluded his press conference with special mention of Julien Faubert, who played last weekend against Blackburn Rovers just two days after his mother died. For Zola, it underlined the full-back's commitment to the claret and blue cause this season.

"He has been brilliant for me. He played two days after his mum died. His gesture was fantastic. He came in and he played very very well and it was a great gesture. That shows the commitment that the players have to the club. It was down to him to play as you can't force anyone to play.

"Last year he went on loan and he has something to prove and achieve. That makes you sharper if you have that in life."