Anton Ferdinand has admitted that West Ham's players let former boss Alan Pardew down before his sacking in December.
Pardew subsequently joined Charlton, and welcomes his old team to The Valley at the weekend in a crucial relegation showdown, with both clubs currently six points from safety.
Ahead of the London derby - which also sees new Hammers boss Alan Curbishley take on his former team - Upton Park supremo Eggert Magnusson laid the blame for the club's troubles firmly at the feet of Pardew.
The Icelandic chairman described how 'There was a cancer we had to cut off', in reference to Pardew's reign, but Ferdinand insists the players must take a portion of the blame for failing to perform for their former boss.
"We did let Pardew down," Ferdinand told The Sun.
"I can only talk for myself but when I pull on the claret and blue shirt I have my pride no matter who the manager is.
"I was gutted when he got the sack - he did a lot for me. Glenn Roeder did a lot for me putting me in the first team but that was at right-back.
"Pardew gave me the run of games that let me establish myself in the position where I know I play best."
Whichever side loses on Saturday will face a monumental challenge in avoiding relegation, and Ferdinand is desperate to prevent The Hammers from reliving the pain of 2003 when they were demoted to the Championship.
"I would not say West Ham are dead and buried. Sure we are in a dogfight but it is far from over," Ferdinand added.
"Whatever happens in my career, I do not want to go through that shattering experience again.
"I simply don't want to put the fans through it again."