Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Under-Fire Curbs Pleads for Unity; Troubled Times: Alan Curbishley Says He Can Understand the Supporters' Anger at the Club's Situation Late Goal Rush: Zavon Hines Finishes off the Scoring for the Hammers (Left) after Lee Bowyer Got Them Back into the Game (above) and Macclesfield Defender Izak Reid Saw Red

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Under-Fire Curbs Pleads for Unity; Troubled Times: Alan Curbishley Says He Can Understand the Supporters' Anger at the Club's Situation Late Goal Rush: Zavon Hines Finishes off the Scoring for the Hammers (Left) after Lee Bowyer Got Them Back into the Game (above) and Macclesfield Defender Izak Reid Saw Red

Article excerpt

Byline: Ken Dyer

Macclesfield 1 West Ham 4

After extra- time; 1- 1 90 mins

ALAN CURBISHLEY today called on West Ham's players and fans to unite when Blackburn Rovers visit Upton Park on Saturday.

A section of the Boleyn Ground crowd turned on the manager last night when his team were trailing League Two Macclesfield with 74 minutes gone in their Carling Cup second round tie.

Chants of "your getting sacked in the morning" could clearly be heard before Lee Bowyer cancelled out Gareth Evans' opening goal and forced the match into extra time.

The Hammers eventually prevailed 4-1 but a much stiffer test lies ahead, when old-boy Paul Ince brings Rovers to East London.

"It's a big game for all sorts of reasons," said the West Ham manager.

"What can I do about the criticism except win games and keep going? The fans, when they are behind us, are brilliant they have got to realise the effect it has when they are not behind us.

"It's happened to other managers but I've had this for a little while now but I'm a big boy. I've looked from afar when the spotlight has been on other managers and wondered what it would be like.

"I understand it now but the players are the ones who have to go and perform." Curbishley also insisted chairman Bjorgolfur Gudmundsson was right behind him and that there would be no more departures before the transfer window closed.

He added: "I have the full support of the board though. I have no doubt about that.

"I understand the responsibility of being West Ham manager. When the crowd here are behind you it's fantastic but when they're not, they let you know.

"I don't think the morale is too bad. We were all desperately disappointed at Manchester City. We looked for a better performance against Macclesfield and we certainly need a better performance against Blackburn on Saturday." The decision to let Anton Ferdinand join Sunderland for ?8million has been at the heart of the current unrest.

Striker Carlton Cole, who came on as a second-half substitute to score in extra-time claimed he was "really disappointed" at the sale of Ferdinand. …

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