West Ham United manager Gianfranco Zola praises 'fantastic' Manchester United

Italian not too disheartened by loss
Despite seeing his West Ham United side lose 3-0 to Manchester United, manager Gianfranco Zola was pleased with his team’s effort.

“We were playing some good football [before their first goal],” he told BBC Sport.

"Perhaps we didn’t keep the ball as well up front as normal, it was a pity that they scored [the first goal] on the counter attack.”

Two headed goals from Wayne Rooney and a late strike from Michael Owen condemned the Hammers to defeat and Zola had no complaints.

“It [the first goal] was a very good goal,” he added, in testament to Antonio Valencia's first-time volleyed pass across the box to an unmarked Rooney.

“After that we were not as good as we had been before.”

There was controversy in the build up to the home side’s third goal as West Ham midfielder Mark Noble lay on the ground injured.

“I was a bit disappointed for the third goal,” Zola continued.

“He [Noble] had been down on the floor for a while before they scored, I expected the referee to stop the game but he didn’t.”

With the result leaving West Ham in 13th position in the Premier League, Zola called on his players to rediscover their recent good form.

“We can much better than we were today,” he added.

“And we need to be focussed as the next game [against Bolton on March 6] is going to be massive.”