Zola plays down Bellamy return

27 February 2009 02:35
West Ham boss Gianfranco Zola says his side must concentrate on the game against Manchester City as opposed to Craig Bellamy's return.

The Hammers welcome City, and former striker Bellamy, to Upton Park on Sunday hoping to secure their first win in five league games.

Fresh from his brace against FC Copenhagen earlier in the week, the Wales striker will be hoping to steer City towards just their second win on the road.

Zola, though, despite admitting some uncertainty as to the fans' reaction to Bellamy's return, has told his players they must focus all of their attention on winning the match.

Reception"I hope he (Bellamy) can have a good reception, but that is not down to me," said Zola.

"However, it is not my concern. It is important we focus, I focus, on winning the game.

"He is a big player and he is one of the City players we will have to look after," he added.

"But I have already spoken a lot about him leaving and now that is that on that subject."

ReunionZola will be reunited with City boss Mark Hughes whom he played alongside at Wembley when Chelsea won the FA Cup in 1997.

"It will be a pleasure to see him and shake hands with him again," he said.

"We were partners - and had a very good partnership together.

"When we were playing together, he always had the attitude and the qualities to be a manager."

Disappointed with Wednesday's FA Cup defeat to Middlesbrough, the Hammers boss is now focused on getting back to winning ways.

He said: "We are really dying for it (a win) again, and that is the kind of feeling we must have.

"We know what we are capable of achieving and will work very hard to make this happen."

Source: SKY_Sports