Putting West Ham United's name on the Carling Cup for the first time would delight manager Gianfranco Zola, who as a player won the competition with Chelsea in 1998 and would now love to repeat the feat in his new role.

The Hammers entertain Coca-Cola League 1 side Millwall on Tuesday evening in Round Two, the stage at which Zola's Premiership team enter the competition.

The Upton Park club have twice before reached the League Cup Final but lost on each occasion, to West Bromwich Albion in 1966 - the last season in which the Final was played over two legs - and after extra time to Liverpool in 1981.

Last season, Zola's first as a manager, the Hammers were third round losers at Championship club Watford. But after subsequently guiding his team to an impressive ninth place finish in the Premiership, the former Stamford Bridge favourite and feted Italian international has set big goals for the current campaign.

One of those goals is the Carling Cup. "It seems a long time ago that I won the Cup with Chelsea," he said, "but I do have good memories of the competition and it is one of the competitions that West Ham would like to get to the end in.

"Also it gives you the possibility to play European football, so we will definitely be up for it when we play Millwall."

West Ham have not been to Wembley for some time (their 2006 FA Cup Final penalty shoot-out defeat by Liverpool was at the Millennium Stadium) but Millwall were there as recently as May this year, though sadly for the Lions their Play-Off Final against Scunthorpe United ended in a 3-2 defeat.

Kenny Jackett's team have bounced back from that disappointment with an unbeaten start to the new season, winning one and drawing the other three of their League 1 games to date and beating Bournemouth 4-0 in the first round of the Carling Cup.

West Ham have meanwhile played only two Premiership matches, winning 2-0 at Wolves on the opening day of the campaign but then on Sunday losing 2-1 at home to last season's Carling Cup runners-up Tottenham Hotspur.

Zola's men will be hot favourites to beat their League 1 opponents, but the Hammers boss said: "West Ham are up for any competition we play in and we are going to be very professional going into this game.

"It is a particularly good match for us against Millwall, another London club, and hopefully it will be a good game that we will come out of with the right result."

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