CAIRO: West Ham coach Gianfranco Zola has defended his decision to play Mido as a lone striker in his side s 4-1 Premier League defeat to Chelsea on Saturday.
The Egyptian striker, who joined in January on loan until the end of the season, was included in West Ham s starting line-up but could not open his account.
I played Mido because Carlton Cole has been struggling and has trained only twice this week. And Mido has trained well, Italian coach Zola said.
We are all part of this group. There is nothing wrong if someone else plays. Carlton has knee problems and after certain games takes more rest.
It s not a big deal, not a big issue. I just thought it was chance to give him a rest and give someone else a chance. In other circumstances maybe I would have played him anyway.
Mido has struggled to make an impact, with Chelsea outplaying the relegation-threatened West Ham throughout the game.
He was booked for a challenge on Michael Ballack early in the second half before being replaced with Cole in the 68th minute.
West Ham have 27 points from 29 games, three above the relegation zone.