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Zola decides to battle on at West Ham

Gianfranco Zola has sent a message from Sardinia to say he has decided to continue the fight to save West Ham from relegation.

Zola heads back to Italy
• Paper Round: Sullivan's indecision
• Mido: Players backing Zola

It had been expected that Zola would lose his job following the club's sixth successive defeat on Saturday, but he had an "amicable" chat with co-owners David Sullivan and David Gold after the game and it was decided that he would stay on.

The co-owners were surprised, then, by the headlines the next day revealing that Zola had said he was contemplating walking out.

Zola returned to Italy for a three-day break on Sunday having decided to give himself and his players a rest as he considered his future at the club.

Soccernet sources have now revealed that, having given the situation further thought, Zola has decided that he is capable of turning around the slump in form.

Zola plans to return from his break on Tuesday night ready for training on Wednesday and has resolved to do all he can to save the club from relegation in their remaining six games. Burnley's defeat at home to Blackburn on Sunday has given West Ham fresh hope of survival, although 18th-placed Hull City drew level on points with the Hammers after victory over Fulham on Saturday.

Sullivan, who clearly disappointed Zola by openly criticising the team ahead of Saturday's game against Stoke, has confirmed he fully expects the Italian to remain in charge of the club.

"Mr Zola has gone to Sardinia. He's given the players three days off to freshen up for the Everton game, they are back training on Wednesday," Sullivan said.

"The board will be most surprised if he isn't coaching the team this week. We had a very amicable meeting with him after the match on Saturday and he indicated nothing to the contrary."

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