West Ham assistant Steve Clarke takes the blame for the current slump

One off the bottom of the Premier League and leaking goals, West Ham assistant boss Steve Clarke has tried to take the pressure off manager Gianfranco Zola.

One off the bottom of the Premier League and leaking goals, West Ham assistant boss Steve Clarke has tried to take the pressure off manager Gianfranco Zola, by putting it on himself.

The fiery Scot admitted it has been tough in east London lately and the gloom would not have improved after they were beaten 3-1 at the Reebok Stadium on Tuesday night.

Chung-Yong Lee had given Bolton a second-half lead, before Alessandro Diamanti levelled for the Hammers. But a blunder from Rob Green, who spilled a Gary Cahill shot for Ivan Klasnic to pounce and give Bolton the lead was added to by Cahill and meant West Ham returned to London pointless.

The Hammers are sinking fast and in a bid to deflect attention away from novice boss Zola, the former Chelsea defender feels West Ham's poor position is down to him.


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"If there are any faults, if anyone's looking to blame, they'll have to blame me," said the 46-year-old.

"I'm the guy they brought in to help Gianfranco. He's the novice manager, just in the game, but if anyone wants to point fingers, point them at me.

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"It's been another disappointing night for us. It's been a difficult time recently and tonight sort of summed it up."

The loss leaves the Hammers two points away from safety in a congested bottom half of the table and with Chelsea making the trip to the Boleyn Ground on Sunday the situation is unlikely to improve dramatically in the short-term.

"It's a great game for us," he said ,trying to create some positivity, especially for goalkeeper Robert Green, whose spill from a Gary Cahill shot allowed Klasnic to give Bolton a 2-1 lead.

"Nobody expects us to get anything and they have to go there and work as hard as they can.

"Football's all about mistakes and Robert will deal with it and he will recover. The best thing he can do is to go out against Chelsea and have the game of his life. He has to respond and I'm sure he will.

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