Zola hails 'new Di Canio'

Di Michele earns manager's praise

Di Michele: Possible cult hero

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Gianfranco Zola hopes that David Di Michele can have the same sort of impact for West Ham as Paolo Di Canio.

Di Michele, who joined the Hammers on loan from Torino earlier this month, scored twice in the 3-1 victory over Newcastle on Saturday.

He has impressed his new boss and Zola believes his fellow Italian has the right style of play to become a fans' favourite.

"I hope he can do as well as Di Canio did for these supporters," Zola said in the Daily Star.

"He has got everything in his bag to be a successful player for West Ham.

"I hope he can become a cult hero because we want players to become important for the club - and successful.

"I told him he can do unbelievable things but he needs to improve his finishing, which shows he listens to me very carefully."

Determined

Di Michele was delighted with his performance against the Magpies and paid tribute to the Upton Park faithful.

The 32-year-old admits he is loving life in the Premier League, although he has played down comparisons with Di Canio.

"It was an atmosphere that I am not used to," he said.

"The fans helped me to focus. It made me determined to to do my best, because even if you make a mistake, they are not on your back.

"Obviously, I am just David Di Michele. Paolo Di Canio was a great, great player for West Ham and he has to be respected for what he did for this club.

"My hope is to do well and to make a name for myself at such a big club."