Pablo Zabaleta apologised to the Claret and Blue Army following West Ham United’s 4-0 Carabao Cup third-round defeat at Oxford United.
The Hammers’ six-game unbeaten run came to an end in disappointing fashion at the Kassam Stadium, where four second-half goals saw the EFL League One side knock their Premier League opponents out of the competition.
Zabaleta, who wore the captain’s armband on the night, pulled no punches in his assessment of a thoroughly disappointing evening.
Sorry to the away fans who came to the game because obviously we don’t want our fans to see this kind of performance
“I thought it was a poor performance from everyone,” he said. “We still need to learn how to play those games, especially when you come from a big win like it was against Manchester United last Sunday.
“This was a completely different game against a League One team who play a different kind of football where the intensity is higher. That’s why you have to perform well enough to win those games.
“If you look at the performance tonight, it’s not been anywhere near our standard and also in the way we lost was not good.
“We are not the first Premier League team to be knocked out of the Carabao Cup. We saw Spurs and we saw some other Premier League teams struggling to win games like that.
“Obviously we just need to move on now and look at the mistakes we have made and think about Saturday.
“We return to the Premier League again and we don’t have too much time to recover. It’s only another 48 hours and we have another game and mentally we need to be strong for Saturday.
“We feel sorry about the performance tonight and sorry to the away fans who came to the game because obviously we don’t want our fans to see this kind of performance.
“It was just a bad night.”