Zola pleads with West Ham fans not to turn on players

Gianfranco Zola has pleaded with West Ham United fans not to turn on their players today against Sunderland.

Gianfranco Zola has pleaded with West Ham United fans not to turn on their players today against Sunderland.

Zola and his team faced the wrath of supporters when they lost at home to Stoke two weeks ago.

He admitted: "Playing at home works both ways. I'm hoping this will be different because everyone realises how important the game is. No matter if the goal comes in the first minute or the 90th minute as long as it comes.

"Everyone has to get behind the team to achieve that. The supporters give an extra boost to the players. They have to be the 12th man and will be very important to the players. There are five games to go and it is the time when everyone at the club has to give everything, including the fans.

"Our two away games are Fulham and Liverpool and obviously we can't leave anything to chance there so we have to take advantage of our home games. I think the point we got against Everton gave us a lot of confidence and that allows us to approach this game with a positive attitude. It was a massive point.

"What we saw the other day against Everton was a different spirit and I am looking forward to seeing that again. We are going to fight for every single ball on the pitch. Against Everton we were more aggressive, more organised and worked harder as a team. That was a big difference and that's why we got a result.

"The team found themselves behind twice and came back both times which shows that nobody wanted to give in. I would like to get another 10 points from our remaining five games. We were thinking 34 points would have been good enough to stay up but we are not sure if that will be okay now.

"What was missing in the last home games doesn't matter any more for me. It is past, it is history."

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