Filed: Monday, 26th January 2009
By: Staff Writer
Gianfranco Zola has revealed that he allowed Hayden Mullins to leave as he could no longer guarantee him first team football.
Zola, talking to whufc.com this morning revealed that Mullins had asked to join Portsmouth having started in just eight of his 21 appearances for the Hammers this season.
"I did not want to lose him but at this point in his career he wanted to play regularly and I respect his wishes," said Zola.
"He asked me if he could talk to Portsmouth and I could have said 'no' but he is a man that has shown this club a lot of respect. He has been loyal and it would not have been fair to stand in his way."
Mullins was Alan Pardew's first signing back in October 2003 when he joined in a £500,000 switch from Crystal Palace. He went on to make over 200 appearances for the Hammers but sadly missed out on the 2006 FA Cup Final having been sent off the week before.
He first began to get itchy feet back in October when he voiced his discontent at losing his first team spot. Speaking at the time, he said:
"I don't really want to go and knock on his door and ask why I'm not playing. It's just a case of waiting for my chance.
"Hopefully it'll come soon. If I get my chance I have to take it, and if I don't we'll have to see where that leaves us."
Hayden Mullins: fact file
League appearances: 151 (28 as sub) - 4 goals
Cup appearances: 25 (2 as sub) - 3 goals
Other appearances: 6 - 0 goals
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Chin up, Franco [17th Dec 2009]
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06:27AM 27th Jan 2009
''Fantastic loyalty. But our big squad did need trimming, why can't we get rid of the proper fringe ones for good though? *bangs head against the wall*''
by Chas L
01:56PM 26th Jan 2009
''Good luck Hayden. Don't be too disappointed when we play in this year's FA Cup final!''
11:59AM 26th Jan 2009
''Hayden Mullins played the "Unsung Hero" midfield role so well. He had arguably his best season the year of the Cup run and was cruelly suspended for the final because of a combination of a stupid scouse Spaniard and a crap ref. Always works hard and played in any position without complaint and never knocked the club. A rare individual in these greedy times. The likes of Ronnie Boyce and Geoff Pike spring to mind as similar comparisons. Good luck Hayden Mullins.''
by peter T
11:09AM 26th Jan 2009
''Mullins never let us down and showed us that rare quality of respect. I for one wish him well at Pompey. Thanks Hayden.''
by barry the hammer
10:27AM 26th Jan 2009
''thank you Hayden Mullins and good luck.''