Downing baffled by Baggies defeat

Stewart Downing was bitterly disappointed to exit the FA Cup at West Brom on Saturday

Stewart Downing was hugely disappointed with Saturday's performance at The Hawthorns
Stewart Downing was left to reflect on a bad day at the office for his West Ham United team after they were dumped out of the FA Cup by West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.

The Hammers suffered a 4-0 defeat to end a run which included a dramatic penalty shootout victory over Everton and a gritty display to see off Bristol City.

They came unstuck at The Hawthorns on a day to forget and Downing was baffled as to where the poor display came from.

"I don't know where to start to be honest," he admitted. "They were on top for most of the game. We didn't start great and once they got the goal, they sat back and it's hard to break them down.

"It was one of those days when nothing went right for us. With the sending off too, it's a bad day at the office.

"I couldn't really see this coming. They sit behind the ball and make it hard for you and the key is scoring first. If we had done, it's a different game as they have to come out and attack us.

"They can counter-attack off their two lads up front. It worked for them and for us we didn't get going really."

Most disappointing for Downing was throwing away the hard work to get to the last-16 stage, with a potential Wembley date starting to appear on the horizon.

He continued: "We worked hard to get to this stage, so to go out like that is the worst thing about it. If you lose 1-0 or 2-0 and you've had a go then fair enough, but to lose four and it could have been five or six, nothing went right for us.

"To sum it up, we missed chances, didn't pass the ball great and didn't defend the goals well so we didn't deserve anything. Maybe having the two tough games this week had an effect, but this is the FA Cup. It's a chance to go to Wembley, so that alone should get you going.

"We just didn't get out of the blocks and credit to West Brom, they got through so I wish them luck."
We say sorry to the fans because the way we performed wasn't good enough
The midfielder says the Hammers still have plenty to play for this term, with European qualification still on their minds,

He explained: "We have to concentrate on the league now, which has been the highlight of our season. We have to make sure we don't let it slip away because we've put in a lot of hard work to get to where we are at the minute.

"We're still in the hunt for the European places, so Tottenham is a massive game. If we end up finishing tenth or eleventh, people won't look at the start of the season as being good. We have to continue to do well. We're still in a healthy position, we've still got winnable games to come so Spurs is massive for us and we need to get a result."

Downing concluded by offering his apologies to the 5,500 travelling fans.

"We say sorry to the fans because the way we performed wasn't good enough," he said. Confidence was high after two good results, so I didn't see this coming. It's a bad day at the office and I'm disappointed that we're out of the Cup."