Zola wants same again

Gianfranco Zola is hoping lightning will strike twice after labelling Sunday's Barclays Premier League visit of Wolverhampton Wanderers a 'six-pointer'.

The West Ham United manager gave an identical label to the Boxing Day meeting with bottom-side Portsmouth - a game the Hammers went on to win 2-0. This weekend, Zola's side are - subject to the weather - set to host 15th-placed Wolves, with both teams eager to secure a vital victory that would propel them to mid-table. With snow forecast  and freezing conditions in east London, fans should keep in touch with whufc.com or media outlets for the latest information over the course of Saturday.

Speaking before the weekend, the manager was happy to stress the importance of securing three points that would lift the Hammers above Mick McCarthy's men. "I said it once and it brought good fortune to us, so I repeat it. Yes it is a six-point game!" joked a smiling Zola, who  also led West Ham to a 2-0 opening-day success at Molineux in August.

"Wolves didn't start very well, losing the first game to us, but they've been different since then. It's a tough game because they work very hard and they are committed so they will come here and make it very difficult for us."

With an away game at Aston Villa and home match against Blackburn to follow in January, Zola is targeting a haul of points that will see his team climb away from the lower reaches of the Barclays Premier League table.

"I'm looking forward to this month very much," he added. "It is a massive month for us. It will tell us many things so I'm looking forward to the challenge."

Another challenge faced by Zola and his players has been this week's snow and sub-zero temperatures. The cold weather forced the squad to de-camp from Chadwell Heath to the Boleyn Ground on Thursday before returning to the training ground on Friday.

"It's been OK. It hasn't been ideal, obviously, because we had to train here on the first day and then go to Upton Park. On Friday we were back at Chadwell Heath and the difference between the pitches is enormous. The one at the training ground is very soft and the other one [at the Boleyn Ground] is very tight.

"Having said that, I believe that everybody else has had the same difficulties so we made the most of the situation and I'm pleased with that."

While Zola remains fully focused on securing victory over Wolves, he is fully aware that the January transfer window is open. When asked if he was targeting any new signings, the manager said the club would attempt to strengthen the squad should a suitable opportunity arise. Once the weekend fixture is out of the way, the situation will be reviewed.

"They know there's something we lack, so they know that we're working on that. We might be able to bring players in. We have to see how certain situations develop and we'll see what happens.

"Certainly everybody knows we are lacking strikers right now, so that would be one of the places where we're looking, but please don't ask me too much. I don't want to talk about it too much. Everybody knows about what I'm saying right now and I want to focus on the game on Sunday because that is vital."