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No. 15: John Terry, Chelsea

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By ESPN Staff

Zola calm despite Hammers' financial concerns

West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola insists he is not worried the club's uncertain financial position could ruin his first season as a boss.

Owner Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson has seen his personal fortune hit by the global credit crunch and has been removed as chairman of the Landsbanki bank when it was nationalised by the Icelandic government.

The club is also searching for a new sponsor after the collapse of travel firm XL but Zola does not expect to be forced to sell players and does not mind being unable to sign new ones.

He said: "I spoke to (chief executive) Scott Duxbury and he said the situation has not changed for the team as the club is okay. The situation is under control.

"It isn't a worry very much and I am confident things will be better very soon.

"Right now I don't need to buy anybody. We have here enough to achieve our target. I am not worried about January at all.''

Any departures would be surplus squad players, the Italian insisted.

He said: "We have a lot of players here and obviously I can only play 11, although I can put seven on the bench. So I will have a big squad when everyone is back from injury.

"Then we will have to make some choices because I don't want anyone staying here and not playing, just training.''

The Hammers have made an impressive start to the season despite seeing Alan Curbishley vacate the manager's post in September in protest over transfer policy.

Hull have been even better, however, and seem to enjoy taking on opposition from the capital, with Arsenal, Tottenham and Fulham all vanquished so far.

Zola praised Phil Brown's side for making such an impact in their first top-flight campaign but insisted he expected his players to end the sequence at the KC Stadium by making amends for the 3-1 defeat they had suffered at home to Bolton before the international break.

He said: "It is a great story and very good for football when teams like that come up and do so well.

"Obviously we want to break their dream and we will be trying our best to do that.

"We know we are going to be facing a team that is in good shape but after the defeat we have just had I know we will come back strongly.''

New signing Diego Tristan will not be involved, however, as the striker is lacking match fitness. The Spain international, 32, has signed until the end of the season.

end

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