Zola defends Parker inclusion

West Ham United manager Gianfranco Zola defended his decision to start with Scott Parker in his team for Monday's 2-0 derby defeat at Tottenham Hotspur.

The ex-Chelsea, Charlton Athletic and Newcastle United midfielder had to limp out of the White Hart Lane action after only 12 minutes with a hamstring injury and was followed in to the dressing room by Herita Ilunga seven minutes later with a similar problem.

Both players had featured in the Boxing Day win against Portsmouth, but when asked after the defeat if Parker should have been rested, Zola said:"It's pointless now to say what I should or shouldn't have done.

"We decided together that he should play, unfortunately it didn't go right. Hopefully it's not going to be a bad thing. It's not bad damage.

"We can only be strong and try to get round this problem – that's all we can do. I must say the reaction from the team to all the injury problems has been massive.

"I'm delighted with the performance. In the second half we created some chances and we looked all right."

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