The manager said that whilst he accepted criticism from supporters and media alike based on results, he could not contend with inaccuracy concerning his modus operandi
“I understand that there is a lot of criticism out there which is understandable,” he commented.
“I came here promising to deliver certain things and in terms of results those things have not come.
“So, I’m the first one to put my hand up. If you criticise me I’m happy to take the criticism and I will take it positively.
“Being very open, what I don’t like is the lies in stories. I read an article in a newspaper. It’s not true. I didn’t change the regime or the work.
“Either it is incorrect information or the informant is not very reliable. I’ve always been very honest and I will take the stick from everyone, but I won’t take false information.
“I keep to my work and keep to my belief and it’s as simple as that. I repeat, you can tell me I’m not performing as a good manager which is fair enough, which is fair enough because of the results, but not that I get influenced and change my work.
“I believe in my work and I will never change my work and never change my beliefs in football.”
What has annoyed Zola is that players have welcomed the shift in style of training, his and his staff’s delivery and they have also not baulked at what has been expected of them in regard intensity.
Other coaches at the Club, whether from Professional Development level or the Academy, have made a point of watching sessions undertaken by Zola, his assistants and backroom team and have been impressed with the planning, technical aspects and information as well as the attention to detail.
Asked if players had come to see him and discussed the training regime and lobbied for a return to what went before, Zola responded emphatically: “No.
“You can go and ask the players and they will tell you that they love what they do.
“If I noticed that they were not responding to the training and they were not liking it then I would consider adapting. I’m here not for myself, I’m here for them. It's the players that encourage me to carry on doing the training that I do.
“I can show you the training sessions. I have all of them on videos. If you can see there is a different type of regime you can judge it yourself. Very simple.”