Martinez praise for Zola

  • by Staff Writer
  • Saturday, 12th September 2009

Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has backed Gianfranco Zola to continue his good start at West Ham.

The Italian was handed the managerial reigns at the Boleyn Ground a year ago last Thursday and, along with partner Steve Clarke, took the Hammers to ninth spot last season.

The highly-rated Martinez - who joined Athletic in the summer from Championship side Swansea - admitted that he was a keen admirer of Zola ahead of this afternoon's Premier League clash at the newly named DW Stadium.

"West Ham are a classic example of a side that is making the system fit the players," he said. "Gianfranco has a great mix of youth and experience, and he is allowing them to play with real adventure. I think he is doing a great job there.

"I admire him massively because he never moans. He has had to deal with a lot of problems at the club and he has found a winning formula. The greatest strength of a manager is to adapt to any conditions you have in front of you and Gianfranco has done that.

"They are as brave a team as you will see, the bravest in the Premier League. But we can be a bold team too and I want us to take them on in an open game. This could be a terrific match, a wonderful advert for Premier League football.

"We have shown we can score goals in open play, and we are playing opponents who can do the same. Games like West Ham are what we need - games at home where we have to take the responsibility."

West Ham travel to Wigan having taken just a point from their last two Premier League outings, which followed an impressive win at Wolves on the opening day of the season.

Last season's corresponding fixture saw Carlton Cole score the only goal of the game - a goal that was voted Goal of the Season by KUMB readers.

A healthy contingent of travelling Hammers fans will be hoping for more of the same today.

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