Perhaps somewhat ironically it was Italian David di Michele - one of the men brought in, on loan from Torino, who scored twice on his home debut.
Matthew Etherington made it 3-0 before England striker Michael Owen pulled one back for the visitors, who are in desperate need of direction without a manager and under an owner looking to get out as quickly as possible.
For the Hammers, though, Zola believes the outlook is positive.
"I have been nervous - every single moment of the week, to be honest, but that is normal because this is the beginning of a new adventure for me," he said.
"In the beginning you don't know how the players will react to what you are telling them, But to be honest, they made me feel very comfortable since I arrived here.
"The reception was fantastic. The fans were shouting my name but I couldn't hear a thing - my mind was completely crossed!
"The fans were very supportive and they have made me feel very welcome here since I arrived. Hopefully we will get better and better for them."
Zola added: "It was okay, as a performance. I have to say that for 70 minutes we were very good, but then we had to concede something because we were playing a very offensive game, we had run a lot.
"But I am very pleased with the victory and some good football as well. We are on the way and I am very proud of the players - they have been fantastic."