Curbs will wield the axe

PUBLISHED: 17:17 28 August 2008 | UPDATED: 13:35 05 October 2010

By JONATHAN CLEGG ALAN Curbishley has threatened to overhaul his West Ham side following Sunday s embarrassing defeat at Manchester City. The Hammers boss watched his side capitulate at Eastlands as Mark Noble was sent off for two bookings in the space o


ALAN Curbishley has threatened to overhaul his West Ham side following Sunday's embarrassing defeat at Manchester City.

The Hammers boss watched his side capitulate at Eastlands as Mark Noble was sent off for two bookings in the space of three minutes and the ten-man Irons surrendered in the second half.

The disastrous display increased the pressure on under-fire Curbishley and the West Ham manager has responded by blasting his players for failing to perform.

He has promised to launch a major shake-up of the team if they continue to produce such abject displays and warned his team that he will not tolerate another disaster against Blackburn Rovers this weekend.

"I've asked them for their verbal reaction after the game and not one of them can really hold up their hands and say they have performed," raged Curbishley.

"Robert Green made a couple of saves and for the first 10 minutes we got into a couple of dangerous areas, but it fizzled out.

"We knew that we could get something if we performed but after the first 10 minutes we weren't in the game and it was mainly Man City who were the driving force.

"I can't look at one of them and think, 'You held your end up' - and that's got to change.

"I know it's early doors but that performance wasn't good enough and we've got to start again."

West Ham were already under the cosh when Noble saw red in the 37th minute for a wild lunge on City's Michael Johnson and Curbishley admitted that his side showed little appetite for the battle following the midfielder's dismissal.

He said: "I was hoping to get to half-time either to make some changes or try and affect it somewhere, but [once] the sending-off came along, we needed to defend manfully and for our lives.

"I don't think we're equipped to play with 10-men at the moment and it was a disappointing day all-round."

The Hammers boss had no complaints about Noble's red card, adding that the 21-year-old had given referee Howard Webb no choice but to send him off for a reckless challenge just moments after his first booking for deliberate handball.

"At first I thought it was quite harsh. Obviously the handball was deliberate but that was the first challenge that he made and I couldn't quite see it," he said.

"But I've seen it since and I think [the referee] has seen that he's left the ground and you're in trouble when you leave the ground. He lunged a bit and caught him."

Curbishley could be forced to ring the changes this weekend after Carlton Cole hobbled off with a hip injury.

Cole's absence would leave teenager Freddie Sears as the only recognised partner to first-choice striker Dean Ashton - unless Craig Bellamy makes a surprise return from injury.

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