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By ESPN Staff
Apr 26, 2009

Zola delighted with new West Ham contract

West Ham United boss Gianfranco Zola is determined to take the club forward after committing his future to the club.

Zola signed a new contract following the Premier League defeat to Chelsea, keeping him at Upton Park until 2013.

The Hammers are set to announce assistant boss Steve Clarke also agreeing a long-term deal early this week.

''I am delighted to have signed the contract,'' Zola said. ''We have a project here that we are taking forward, with the coaching staff, (technical director) Gianluca Nani and (chief executive) Scott Duxbury.

''We are very much working together, we believe in the project and we will do everything we can to make it happen.''

Zola took over earlier this season and turned West Ham from relegation candidates to European hopefuls.

''We hope we can achieve success this season but we are very much looking at the long-term with Gianfranco,'' said Duxbury. ''With Steve Clarke soon to sign, we know we have the foundation for great success. It is a very bright future for West Ham.

''Everything Gianfranco said to me when I first met him in Rome has come true. He said he would enhance the philosophy of what West Ham is about which is bringing the youngsters through and that has happened. We are very confident for the future.''

Chelsea legend Zola, meanwhile, has backed current boss Guus Hiddink to match Barcelona in the Champions League this week.

''He's got everything he needs to be successful,'' Zola said. ''He's got the players, the experience, the knowledge.

''Personally, they are playing a team who is at the top of their game. Everyone speaks about how fantastic they are but I fancy Chelsea very much.

''It will be tough but if they stay as a unit, stay compact and play with humility they have a great chance.''

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