Like all West Ham United supporters we feel frustrated and hurt by our recent results. We understand how you feel and we, the Board, feel the same.
It is never enjoyable being knocked out of a Cup competition and losing by such a large scoreline to a lower division side is hard to take for us all. We thought the youngsters gave their all and did not stop trying but in the end Nottingham Forest's experience proved too much for us.
I know Sam would have loved to have put out a more varied side, with our talented youngsters accompanied by more senior players in the starting XI. But many key players are out injured and Sam has been handed a near impossible task of coming through three crucial games in the space of six days with a squad of only 14 fit and available senior players. This is not an excuse it is a fact. We know Sam has not lost his ambition or desire and is committed to making West Ham United a great Premier League Club.
We now face a Capital One Cup semi-final on Wednesday followed by a vital Barclays Premier League trip to Cardiff on Saturday. Despite an extremely difficult draw, we are determined to do all we can to get to the Capital One Cup final over two legs with Manchester City. We hope to have several of our missing players back in time for Cardiff and we go there knowing that a win can get us out of the bottom three. Such is the nature of the Premier League this season; there are only six points between us and the team in 13th place.
Make no mistake, though; we are under no illusions as to the seriousness of our current predicament in the Premier League. But on the Board we have a combined talent of running football clubs and we will draw on all of our nous to get West Ham United out of this situation.
We have experienced difficult times before and we know what will get us results - hard work, determination and perseverance. To that end, we are all working round the clock to do everything in our powers to help arrest our slump in form.
Our first priority is to get our key players fit. Our record signing Andy Carroll continues to make good progress following his return to first-team training and he should be back on the pitch very soon along with Hammer of the Year Winston Reid and our other missing central defenders, James Tomkins and James Collins. Trust us, Andy Carroll is desperate to play and is ready to do his bit for the team and we are confident that the return of all of our injured players will lead to an upturn in our fortunes.
Thereafter, our second priority is to bring in the new talent needed to bolster our squad in the most needed areas. January is not an easy time to do business but we are pleased to confirm we are close to securing one of our key striking targets. A defender is high on the list of priorities as well and progress is being made on that front.
Despite our difficulties, what has remained consistent throughout the past few weeks and months is the unwavering level of support you have shown for the team home and away. We took over 3,000 fans to Fulham on New Year's Day and nearly the same number again to Nottingham on Sunday. That has been a constant and successful theme since our record-breaking season under Sam in 2011/12 and I know everyone at the Club is extremely grateful for the unique backing you provide to the team every week.
Following the Cardiff fixture, we have two more vital games in January before a hugely significant February, which has three massive home games. We will go into those games with a much-improved squad and we remain confident that we can turn our season around.
Whilst we have exceeded expectation off the pitch this year, by providing the Olympic Stadium and financial stability by taking personal responsibility for the Club's inherited debts of £100 million, we know that quality on the pitch is more important to you.
We have 103 employees that directly relate to the football teams, but we also have 477 colleagues who work behind the team across all areas of the Club. All of these people are key to our success. We continue to invest in the development of their future by ensuring that West Ham United remains a great place to work.
We understand these are difficult times for the Club and its supporters, but we must stay united and come through the other side together. Please support us and the team - we have no desire to be where we are and we are all doing everything in our power to improve this unenviable situation.
Thank-you once again for your fantastic support.
David Sullivan and David Gold
Joint-Chairmen, West Ham United