Manager on Monday

Gianfranco Zola will look to push his players hard this week as he looks to get the club back to winning ways as soon as possible.

Next Saturday sees the first of three matches in eight days that will do much to define the Hammers' season. After the obvious disappointment of a 4-1 reverse at Chelsea, Gianfranco Zola knows his men will have another tough test away to Arsenal before they can think about the visits of Wolverhampton Wanderers and Stoke City.

He has plenty to ponder, including the impact of a 4-5-1 formation at the weekend that saw him rest Carlton Cole, who had not trained fully in the preceding week, and Alessandro Diamanti. Zola will hope Guille Franco will be back in contention next time after a back problem while Benni McCarthy will benefit from another week of training.

"I made some changes at Chelsea and I will judge in the week what to do next time," Zola said. "I really pay attention to how the players train, their form, their condition and then I make my choices. We have players coming back from injury and I have plenty of options. In football another game could bring anything and I will go to Arsenal with a positive approach."

One man who is sure to be on the manager's team-sheet is Scott Parker, who scored a stunning equaliser that briefly gave hope to the fantastic visiting support before Chelsea powered through with three unanswered second-half strikes. The Hammer of the Year will not give up his crown without a fight.

"In the middle Scott Parker was in my opinion dominating the scene and we looked we could've got something. But that is the difference with teams like Chelsea. They punish you when you make mistakes.

"Scott is unbelievable. He scored a great goal to equalise. I keep saying to him to focus on his shooting because it would make a big difference to his game. But other than the goal he was excellent. There was a moment at the end of the first half and the start of the second half when he was completely in control, actually we were in control as a team."

The manager had decided to play with Kieron Dyer and Ilan in wide positions, explaining their extra pace and his attempt to play on the counterattack as the reason for opting for them over Alessandro Diamanti. In dropping Cole in favour of Mido, he said he had taken into account his lack of training as he bids to come back to full fitness for the run-in.

"This time was an opportunity to give someone else a chance. Carlton is OK. We are all part of a group, Cole has always played but sometimes somebody else plays especially when you have not trained all week like he has.

"I thought there could have been something for us from the match but teams like Chelsea can always come back and punish you and that was the case. We have to try to learn from such experiences and how to handle such pressure.

"We didn't deal well with their goals and it is something we will be working on. We will sort it out and I am certain we can turn it around. It was hard and painful to lose at Chelsea but there is no time for me or the players to dwell on that. We have to stay focused and give everything we can."