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West Ham Boss Gets Vote of Confidence: Mark Hughes Lined Up as Zola Replacement

Upton Park owner offers full backing for under fire boss.

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Beleaguered West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola retains the full support of the club, according to co-owner David Sullivan.

Speculation has suggested that the Hammers’ Italian boss has been close to quitting after Tuesday’s Premier League defeat to fellow relegation battlers Wolves.

Reports have implied that Zola, Sullivan and David Gold have experienced a difficult relationship since the arrival of the new co-owners in January and that former Manchester City chief Mark Hughes has been lined up as a successor.

But Sullivan, who, along with Gold and vice-chairman Karren Brady, met the Italian after the Wolves defeat, has promised there will be no knee-jerk reaction from the board.

Sullivan said in The Guardian: “We’re 100 per cent behind the manager. There will be no changes.

“We all had a chat with him after the game to see how he felt about things.

“We realise the performance was absolutely appalling. We can’t play like that again, and I’m sure the manager will be making changes for Saturday [Stoke] and I’m sure it will be a much better performance.

“That game is significant but it’s one game out of seven. But, at the same time, I don’t think bringing in an Iain Dowie mark II will make us a better team.

“I don’t think [appointing an ‘impact manager’] would be a major achievement.” (Sky Sports)

Whilst its true that when an owner states publicly that he has full faith in his manager it does tend to lead to a dismissal it does seem that on this occasion David Sullivan may actually have faith in Gianfranco Zola. The Upton Park side probably have nothing to gain from axing the Italian now and whilst the club has had a disastrous season the former Chelsea man still enjoys the support of his players.

Talk of Mark Hughes being lined up as a replacement may be premature but perhaps when the season ends things could be different.

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