Pardew issues warning after latest defeat

December 7, 2006

West Ham manager Alan Pardew warned his players that their Premiership status is now on the line after last night's 2-0 capitulation against Wigan.

Pardew apologised to Hammers fans for the meek way his side slipped to defeat and he admitted that Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson, the major backer behind the recent £85million takeover, would not have been a happy man.

Two goals in seven second-half minutes from David Cotterill and Leighton Baines, via a major deflection off Jonathan Spector, earned Wigan the victory their superior commitment and endeavour deserved.

And with Newcastle snatching a late win over Reading, West Ham were plunged back into the relegation zone.

Pardew said: 'We haven't had too many displays this year where you have thought 'my God, that was no good at all'.

'We did not give a display worthy of ourselves. On behalf of the players I apologise to the fans, who have paid good money tonight.

'We have had a good long chat in the changing room about the examination we will get in the next two games (against Bolton and Manchester United). It will be a test of our character and spirit.

'Our status is now under threat, their status as Premier League players is under threat and we have to stand up and be counted.

'They had better realise it. When they get home tonight and see the league table it will soon sink in.'

Carlos Tevez was once again West Ham's brightest player, but he was starved of possession for long periods of the game as the Hammers failed to control any possession and resorted to long balls forward.

The Argentina international could have earned West Ham the lead when his great solo run ended with his shot deflecting onto the post and clear.

Wigan then went down the other end to open the scoring, with Cotterill curling in his first in the Premiership since signing from Bristol City in August.

Baines crashed his shot from distance off Spector to make it 2-0 and only a narrow off-side call against Paul Scharner denied Wigan a third.

Not bad for a side who feared they might not even make it to the ground on time after being stuck in bad London traffic.

And not bad for a side who were 4-0 down by half-time against Liverpool at the weekend.

'It was a big show of character from our lads,' said Jewell

'We were embarrassed at the weekend and I asked them to show their character tonight. We controlled the game from start to finish.

'We always win here. It was a very good away performance. When you come to a place like West Ham, with a hostile crowd, you have got to silence them and we did that.

'We got a bit of luck with the second goal but it wasn't anything we didn't deserve.'