"It's been very good and is an achievement, but I want to share it with the club," said Zola, happy to have avoided the predicted fire sale of all his key men.
"[Technical director] Gianluca Nani and [chief executive] Scott Duxbury have been brilliant.
"They believed in the project and never gave up on the idea of keeping the best players and actually trying to improve the team.
"That has been really good and I appreciate that.
"Also, in those moments when it was easy for them to say 'Oh well, maybe we made the wrong choice and need to pick up a new manager'."
Zola added: "Obviously when things are not going very well, you have doubts, but at the end of the day, the enthusiasms were bigger than the doubts so I kept going.
"I really put my head down and kept working hard.
"I kept believing in the way I want to play and we came out very well from that situation."