Chairman and Manager slam media claims

Alan Pardew and Terence Brown have today responded to press reports claiming that the Chairman criticised the players in the dressing-room after last night's Carling Cup exit at Chesterfield.

At least two tabloid newspapers made incorrect accusations following the 2-1 defeat at Saltergate, and the Hammers boss is keen to clear up the controversy.

He says: "I would like to rubbish these suggestions straight away. The Chairman came down to the dressing-room area after the match, put his arm around me and said: 'Come on, we've been here before, we'll sort things out and turn it around.'

"He then went and spoke to some of the players and gave them similar encouragement. He was nothing but positive and supportive, and the claims that have been made in some papers today are completely untrue.

"I understand that the press will be searching for a story, and they are entitled to their honest criticisms, but certain reports recently have got out of hand and I feel it is important that our supporters are made aware of the truth."

Chairman Terence Brown adds: "I went down to the tunnel area to make sure that Alan was okay after what had been a very difficult night.

"We talked about a couple of positive aspects involving the performances of one or two players, but nothing negative or critical was said.

"Of course Alan was hurting, but I put my arm around him and told him that everything would be fine. It is disappointing that one or two sections of the media have made such suggestions, but they will not distract us from working hard to turn round the team's current situation."