Good day at Chadwell Heath

Gianfranco Zola has welcomed joint chairmen David Gold and David Sullivan to West Ham United after they paid a visit to Chadwell Heath to meet the first-team squad.

The club's new owners received a warm response from the playing and coaching staff when they gathered after training on Wednesday. Captain Matthew Upson led the squad into the meeting and was able to renew acquaintances first forged at Birmingham City during the informal introductions.

For Mr Gold it was a return to familiar surroundings, having been to Chadwell Heath as a young player himself. While Tuesday's confirmation at the Boleyn Ground of his joint ownership of the club he has supported all his life was a memorable day, Wednesday's trip to the training ground was equally satisfying.

"I am hugely excited still," said the joint chairman. "Part of that was getting to meet everyone down here today and getting a feel for the place. It is good to meet the players, I think that it is important that they can put faces to names and have contact when needed. It is about bringing everybody together.

"The relationship between the board and the management is vital. Then it branches out to the rest of the staff. I was very impressed with the manager, he is measured, charming to work with and I am sure I am going to get along with him just fine.

"Also when we talk about ownership, we have to remind ourselves that it is the fans that own the heart and soul of this club. It is not just them but it is their fathers and grandfathers before them. "

Having had another positive meeting with the joint chairmen, Zola explained how pleased he was to have the club's ownership situation resolved. He and Steve Clarke had also had two hours of talks the previous evening and came away from them in an upbeat mood.

"I welcome the new chairmen to the club," the manager said. "It has been a good day. They have been very positive straight away and we have already begun working on what we need. We are going to find the players we need to help us.  They know what the difficulties are and are working hard to sort them out.

"We have spoken for so long about stability and the possibility of keeping our players so it has been very good to get things sorted out. The meeting last night went well and I am looking forward to the next match.

"The players are positive as well and it was a good meeting with them today. They are really happy that we have what we have been looking for and now it is down to us to do our jobs."