West Ham United striker Carlton Cole has dismissed suggestions that the appointment of Gianfranco Zola as manager is a risk and is instead predicting 'exciting times' for the club.
Zola will officially begin his new role as Alan Curbishley's successor on Monday as the Hammers prepare for the weekend encounter versus Newcastle United.
The Italian's only previous management role was in charge of the Italy Under 21s, but Cole, who played alongside Zola during his time at Chelsea, believes his new boss has the credentials to succeed at Upton Park.
Cole said in the Daily Star: "He wants to put his style of play and all of his experiences into how we play and these are exciting times for West Ham.
"I've got so much respect for him. I'm not licking his bum, I'm just saying everyone knows he's a model pro.
"I don't see his lack of managerial experience as a risk, he's been through all levels of football and I think he'll do a great job here."