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Fulham star Danny Murphy has admitted West Ham United are a much tougher proposition under the management Gianfranco Zola.

The Fulham captain will lead his side into a London derby against the Hammers all too aware of the effect a new manager can have on a team’s fortunes.

Murphy himself was a key figure in guiding the Cottagers to an unlikely survival last season under new boss Roy Hodgson, although it did take a bit of time for the former Blackburn Rovers boss’ methods to be transferred into consistent results.

And Murpy has admitted his concern ahead of the clash with West Ham, a game he confesses his team need to win following a Premier League defeat to Blackburn last weekend that was followed up by a Carling Cup exit at the hands of Burnley.

“West Ham will be a tougher proposition due to their new manager,” Murphy admitted.

“Obviously when a new manager goes to a club they have an immediate effect. Everyone is trying to impress, everyone is fighting for a position, so their players will all be up for it, but I think they would be anyway. It’s a London derby and their fans are very passionate like ours, so they’ll want their team to perform,” he said.

“I’m expecting a good game. I think any team under Zola will be a good footballing one.

“I don’t think for a second he’s going to have them launching it from the back! So I think from a spectator’s point of view it will be a good game of football.

“I’m sure there’ll be chances for both sides because it’s between two attacking sides who like to win matches. So, it’s a game that everybody is looking forward to, especially us because we had the bad result last weekend and we want to put that right.”

West Ham themeselves go into the game on the back of a disappointing Carling Cup exit after defeat to Watford last night. They did win Zola’s first game in charge, however, beating Newcastle United 3-1 on Saturday.