Sam Allardyce accepts he may soon pay for West Ham's poor form with his job but does not believe his selection gamble in the 5-0 FA Cup defeat at Nottingham Forest will make the difference.
Allardyce made nine changes for the third-round tie at the City Ground, handing debuts to three rookies in his starting XI and two more from the bench. Allardyce has the first leg of the Capital One Cup semifinal against Manchester City to come on Wednesday, with key league games against Cardiff and Newcastle before the return fixture.
With that in mind he informed co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan he would have to make major alterations for Forest ahead of time. Asked if he expected repercussions, he said: "There might be, who knows? It's their decision, not mine. I'm not saying it won't happen unless I start to get results. I have got to get results, I know that.
"But I made them [Gold and Sullivan] aware of what would happen today because I'm not in the position to go and do these things without telling everybody internally what is planned for the next few games."
"My priorities meant I put too many youngsters in and they were not able to withstand Forest's pressure in the last half an hour. I picked the team so it is my responsibility. You know what my priorities are: the priorities are the Premier League first and then Capital One Cup.
"It's leg one on Wednesday and we need to get back to the second leg with an opportunity to get to Wembley and then get some points at Cardiff. My hands are tied behind my back every time I see what's available and the team is almost picking itself. It's a disaster at the moment, a total disaster and in certain areas we've not been able to cope."
The Hammers' most pressing concerns at present are in defence, where there are several injuries and -- on this evidence -- few ready to take up the mantle. The January transfer window may help with that and Allardyce confirmed he was interested in, though not confident, of a move for Manchester City's Joleon Lescott. "I don't know if Joleon is available, but if it is possible I would like to get him," he confirmed.
Billy Davies was in irrepressible form after his side's thrashing of West Ham -- announcing a new deal for club captain Andy Reid, stating his intention to keep hold of Jack Hobbs and even challenging a journalist to a race.
The Scot -- who has had tense relations with some sections of the media this season -- started his post-match press conference in unusual fashion. Singling out one reporter and referring to some previous social network comments, Davies made a curious challenge that the pair put a charity collection together and race towards a pork pie.
"Any distance, 100 metres or a 1,000 metres... you name it," he said.
There was, thankfully, more substantial on-field action to consider. "I think someone was waiting to be hit for four or five here," he continued. "Our play has been very good and we created a host of chances. I'm delighted with the way we played.
"I have to say we know [West Ham boss] Sam Allardyce has bigger fish to fry... we know he has injuries like ourselves. But before the game we were concerned, because in [Stewart] Downing and [Matt] Jarvis, [Modibo] Maiga and [Ravel] Morrison they had 20 million pounds of talent in the front four. We had to make sure we were up for the game. I wish I had 20 million pounds worth of front players because they have very good players."
As for Reid, the Republic of Ireland international signed a two-and-a-half-year extension before kick-off and celebrated with a goal just before the final whistle. "We have just agreed a contract," said Davies. "I'm delighted to have Reidy here, he's influential and he's club captain. I've told him to lead this team to the Premier League."
Davies also addressed the future of defender Hobbs, who is on loan from Hull but has been the subject of interest from Wigan. Hull would consider a permanent deal for the player but Davies expects him to see out his season-long loan. Asked if Hobbs might have played his last game for Forest, he replied: "Not a chance. There is a [recall] clause which is for an emergency. As far as we're concerned that hasn't changed. He's still our player.
"We're looking forward to having him here for the rest of the season if that's possible. The player doesn't want to leave this club and that's important."