Pards: We must repay the support of the fans

Eight straight defeats are enough to tax the patience of any football fan. And Alan Pardew knows that the clock is now ticking for both him and his players as far as the Upton Park supporters are concerned.

"I'm aghast for our fans because they've given us the benefit of the doubt and have been so supportive towards us," acknowledged the Hammers' boss following his side's shock Carling Cup exit at Chesterfield. "Like us, the crowd will be going home to London angry and disappointed, and time is going to run out for us very soon, unless we return to form very quickly.

"I can assure them that we're desperate to find the mixture that will give us a result because we need to get our confidence levels back.

"And while I've got to pick up the team for Sunday's game against Blackburn Rovers, hopefully, the crowd will be right behind us at the start, too.

"We need our stadium to give us a lift but if we don't respond to the supporters, then they'll turn on us and we'll find ourselves in a difficult place. It's a big, big game for us.

"The desire and passion were still there against Chesterfield," insisted Pards, who saw Marlon Harewood end Hammers's 672-minute goal drought, only for Colin Larkin and Caleb Folan to pull off a second half slaying.

"Our early strike was just the lift we needed and I was hoping that we would go on from there but, unfortunately, we never really got going and our quality never shone through until our substitutes Teddy Sheringham and Matthew Etherington came onto the pitch.

"Chesterfield had the four or five individual performances that really should have come from our team and, fair play to them, their intensity caused us problems all night long. We kept turning the ball over to them and we invited pressure onto ourselves.

"Crosses kept coming into our penalty box, something fell for them in the end and we've been beaten fairly and squarely.

"But that isn't acceptable to me, the players or West Ham United and I'm now getting to the stage where I'm looking at individual players within this group and wondering why they're putting in performances like this.

"At the moment I can only put it down to the effects of this losing run and the overall nervousness around the place because players are much better than this.

"This is the worst run of my career both as a manager and as a player," revealed Pards. "I hoped that we'd get the lift we needed here at Chesterfield tonight but we've gone home with an even bigger disappointment. It's definitely not getting any easier.

"I'm certainly not after buying time and I'm not fearful for my job, either, but every manager has to live and die by his results and I'm no exception to that. I'm not immune to anything.

"I just want to win games of football for West Ham United but I'm not doing that and I've got to get it right. I've got to come out fighting and I hope that the players will do that, too.

"They certainly can't look around the dressing room and start pointing the point the finger at other people, they have to look at their own individual displays tonight and say is that good enough for West Ham United and the Premiership?

"As I've said, the patience of the fans is going to run out and we need to get them behind us right from the start on Sunday but once they've created the atmosphere and the intensity, it's going to be up to us after that."