Hammers deny Brown bust-up
By Tom Adams. Last Updated: January 1, 1970 1:00am
West Ham chairman Terry Brown has rubbished reports that he was involved in a heated confrontation with manager Alan Pardew and the club's under-performing stars following the Carling Cup exit to Chesterfield.
After The Hammers' nightmare start to the season plumbed new depths with a 2-1 defeat to the League One side on Tuesday, Brown was reported to have vented his anger in the dressing room by labelling the Upton Park flops as little more than a 'pub team'.
With speculation rife that Pardew may be on the brink of losing his job, Brown has now come out to present a united front by denying that he criticised the team in the wake of the embarrassing defeat.
"I went down to the tunnel area to make sure that Alan was okay after what had been a very difficult night," Brown told the club's official website.
"We talked about a couple of positive aspects involving the performances of one or two players, but nothing negative or critical was said.
"Of course Alan was hurting, but I put my arm around him and told him that everything would be fine.
"It is disappointing that one or two sections of the media have made such suggestions, but they will not distract us from working hard to turn round the team's current situation."
Pardew has also backed-up his chairman by stating that Brown's input following the defeat was supportive in its nature.
"I would like to rubbish these suggestions straight away," said Pardew.
"The chairman came down to the dressing-room area after the match, put his arm around me and said: 'Come on, we've been here before, we'll sort things out and turn it around'.
"He then went and spoke to some of the players and gave them similar encouragement.
"He was nothing but positive and supportive, and the claims that have been made in some papers today are completely untrue.
"I understand that the press will be searching for a story, and they are entitled to their honest criticisms, but certain reports recently have got out of hand and I feel it is important that our supporters are made aware of the truth."
Reports in the English media on Thursday suggested that another defeat at the hands of Blackburn on Sunday, what would be a ninth loss in a row, could spell the end of Pardew's time at Upton Park.
But as the former Reading boss attempts to turn the club's season around he can rely on the support of his players according to midfielder Hayden Mullins.
"We hope the board don't lose faith in Alan. He has been terrific here," said Mullins.
"In the three years he has been here, the club has taken giant steps.
"We've been promoted and progressed to the FA Cup final, which I'm sure the club was delighted with, and then we progressed into Europe.
"This season hasn't been good for us. We know we haven't had a good start and we want to put it right.
"When I came to the club as Alan's first signing we had been relegated and he has turned it around.
"He has spent so many hours with us on the training ground and taken our game to the next level.
"We know how much we owe the manager and we want to put it right.
"The boys know we are on a bad run and only we can get ourselves out of it."