Curbs slams tabloid headlines after cup win

West Ham eased themselves into Monday's FA Cup fourth round draw with a terrific three-goal victory over battling Brighton & Hove Albion at Upton Park.

But for Alan Curbishley, an afternoon of aptitude and application was overshadowed by the horrendous headlines of the morning tabloids.

"A lot has been said over this last week and I now realise that I'm at a different club than before," he announced after seeing second half goals by Mark Noble, Carlton Cole and Hayden Mullins lift spirits at Upton Park.

"I want to clear some matters up because things have been spun around and used in different ways and I'm very disappointed with some of the recent press coverage.

"I've been here for nearly four weeks now and, for a start, I'm a little bit outraged by some of the criticism that Nigel Reo-Coker has received. People seem to think that it's all his fault because we're in the bottom three and haven't been performing well but that's total nonsense as far as I'm concerned.

"It's easy to pick on people and Nigel's been picked on but he's only a young boy and it's certainly not his fault."

And as well as defending his skipper, Curbs was also anxious to protect Hammers's summer signings, too.

"In the pre-match press conference, I was asked what type of players I was going to bring into the club during the transfer window and I said that we wanted people like Luis Boa Morte, who is experienced and can go straight into the first team and not be fazed by our current situation.

"I also said that there had been a lot of activity during the summer but, unfortunately, when you look at our signings, not many have managed to establish themselves in the first team.

"If you care to look at it, that's the Argentinean boys - Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano - plus John Pantsil and Tyrone Mears who - certainly under me - haven't been given a chance, while Lee Bowyer and Jonathan Spector have also been in and out of the side. Robert Green, who was rested today, has only just got into the team, too.

"But everything's been spun around to make it look as though all those players who came here in the summer are responsible for our current problems and troubles and I'm very disappointed with those headlines.

"People who know me will understand that I'm not blaming our summer signings but the fact is those players just didn't come in and establish themselves, which is what the club needed then and what they need now," he concluded, putting the record straight. "That's exactly why I'm now looking to bring in experienced players who can go into this situation and deal with it."