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First home victory lifts Zola

Manager Gianfranco Zola hopes that Wednesday's 2-1 victory over Aston Villa can be the turning point in West Ham's below-par season.

The Hammers moved out of the relegation zone with their first home win of the campaign and afterwards the Italian coach was in upbeat mood.

Mark Noble's first-half penalty had given the home side the lead before Zavon Hines struck in the 93rd minute to wrap up three much needed points.

"The team is playing better and this may well be the turning point," said Zola.

"We demonstrated desire and belief and that's what we wanted. Everything else is there. It was a fantastic game to win tonight.

"We got the reward we wanted in the end. I believed and so did the players.

"Every time I play Hines he's been very good. He just needs to keep working the way he is doing. I am very pleased for him and for us."

Meanwhile, Zola played down the extent of hamstring injuries suffered by full-back Herita Ilunga and England striker Carlton Cole in the first half at Upton Park.

He added: "I don't think the injuries are serious but they are both hamstrings. We will assess them in the next couple of days."

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Article title: First home victory lifts Zola

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