WEST HAM were branded a pub team last night — by their own chairman.
Boss Alan Pardew revealed he was close to the sack after supremo Terry Brown lashed out in a ferocious dressing-room tirade.
Brown was furious at seeing the Hammers crash out of the Carling Cup — their eighth straight defeat — at the hands of League One Chesterfield.
Soon after Caleb Folan's 87th-minute winner, the usually unemotional Brown branded West Ham's performance ‘unacceptable'.
And he is believed to have told the stunned players the club had forked out £16,000 for a team bus and overnight hotel stop, when they ‘may as well have fielded a Sunday pub team'.
Pardew admitted: “All I want to do is to win games for West Ham — and I'm not doing that.”
Goals from Colin Larkin and Folan sentenced Pards' men to a disastrous third-round exit, despite Marlon Harewood's early opener giving them their first goal in more than 11 hours of football.
Pardew added: “I am not after buying time for my job. Every manager has to live or die by results and I'm no exception.
“I'm aghast for the fans. They will go home very angry and disappointed, much like we are.
“While they have been supportive so far, that time is going to run out very soon unless we can find some sort of form.
“If we don't respond against Blackburn on Sunday, they will turn on us and then we will be in a very difficult place.
“This is the worst run of my career as a player or a manager. I honestly thought coming here could help us turn it around but we have gone home with an even bigger disappointment.
“I'm looking at individual players and asking why they are putting in these sorts of performance, because they are better than that. Maybe it is down to the nervousness of the situation we are in.
“Chesterfield deserved to win. They were the better team.”
Chesterfield boss Roy McFarland said: “We got our just rewards. As a manager, I feel for Alan Pardew. I have been in the situation he is in. But he can get them out of it.”