Defiant Gianfranco Zola stands firm

“Do you think I am somebody that gives us easily on things?” he asked to questions about his immediate future.

“It is not the first time. If I was like you are saying probably I wouldn't have got to the level I was.

“Don't think that it was always roses and flowers (during my career as a player and coach), I have had to face problems and I didn't back off from the problems.

“If I see that people are following me, I will carry on. If I don't, I will do something else and don't worry, I will let you know. But I still feel like I can do something for this Club, definitely.”

Zola continued: “I am very much aware of the results - they are not very good.

“From my point of view as a coach I see a lot of improvements. Without being very silly I know these improvements that I see will have to be transformed into more points because at the end of the day that's all that matters.”

Asked about the relationship with the Blues board and owners during his pre-match press conference, Zola replied that it was ‘very good, strong’.

“There are people over here I speak to and also in China. We talk all the time and we have the same vision for the Club. We always keep updated and we always aware of the situation, we are all working hard to improve it.

“I understand there is a lot of criticism out there - which is correct - because I came here promising that I was going to deliver certain things and in terms of results those things are not coming.

“I am the first one to put my hand up. If you criticise me, I am very happy to take the criticism and I will take it positively.

“The owners, they’re looking in front of them. They have started a process which is more complicated than they expected. I’m the first one to say that.

“They’re not looking behind. This is not about Gianfranco Zola. If Gianfranco Zola cannot produce what they want, they will get someone else. They will (be asked to) do the same.

“From what I know they’re not going to look behind because their plan is to go in one direction. I’m the one at the moment that needs to carry on that task.”