'Let's break tradition'

Gianfranco Zola wants to put an end to West Ham United's "bad tradition" of losing to Bolton Wanderers on Saturday.

The Hammers have lost on each of their last five meetings with the Trotters, including 3-1 defeats in both the Carling Cup third round and Barclays Premier League earlier this season. Scott Parker will be back to aid the Hammers cause with Mark Noble absent because of an arm injury suffered at Manchester United ten days ago.

With that in mind, Zola is eager to get his own back against Bolton at the Boleyn Ground, securing a vital three points and preventing Owen Coyle's 15th-placed side from picking any up in the process.

"These points are very important because not only are you getting all three points, but you are denying your opposition that is in a similar position to us three vital points. They count double for me.

"I think it's a massive, massive game. You play the game both on and off the pitch because you have to be fully prepared and 100 per cent sure that you have mentally prepared for the game.

"On paper, Bolton is not an easy game for me because they've always done well against us, but it's another story on Saturday. They are trying to play differently and we shall see what happens. We are determined to break that bad tradition.

"Because we have tough games away from home [at Chelsea and Arsenal], obviously our home games are vital and more important, but we have to be too careful not to give them too much importance, because I don't want the players to put themselves under too much pressure.

"We need to play the game with a lot of focus and attention, but not be nervous. Then we can go and play teams like Chelsea and Arsenal and who says we're going to lose them? Last year we got draws in both games and we could have won at Chelsea. In football you never know - you don't start games knowing you have already lost.

"They will be tough matches, but I tell you, this is a year when there have been so many surprises."

Having come out second against former Bolton boss Gary Megson twice this term, Zola will lock horns with new Trotters manager Coyle for the second time in 2009/10, safe in the knowledge that he has already tasted victory over the former Republic of Ireland striker this season.

Coyle was in charge of Burnley when the Clarets were beaten 5-3 at the Boleyn Ground in late November, before taking his footballing principles down the A666 from Turf Moor to the Reebok Stadium in January.

While Zola appreciates Coyle's preferred style of play, he will focus on his own team's strengths on Saturday, knowing that a three-point haul will strengthen West Ham's claims of staying in the top flight.

"For me, the way they play is not important. It's not down to me to decide how they play and, to be honest, I'm not bothered too much. As long as we play the way we should play and win the game, that is the most important thing.

"It's never nice to watch the other teams. It's very important that we focus on ourselves and make sure that we collect the points that we need. I always like to think this way.

"I prefer to do what needs to be done and what the others do is another thing. I can only worry about what I can determine, not what the others do. For me, I always like to think that I can handle my own destiny, rather than the others'."