Pellegrini admits to being ashamed of players following FA Cup exit

Manuel Pellegrini admitted he was ashamed of his players after West Ham’s humiliating FA Cup exit at the hands of AFC Wimbledon.

The Hammers, 10th in the Premier League, were deservedly beaten 4-2 by a team lying rock bottom of League One.

They found themselves three behind a minute into the second half after goals from Kwesi Appiah and two from Scott Wagstaff.

Manuel Pellegrini
Manuel Pellegrini admitted he was ashamed after his side lost to Wimbledon (Daniel Hambury/PA)

Substitutes Lucas Perez and Felipe Anderson raised hopes of a comeback, but they were extinguished when Toby Sibbick struck the fourth two minutes from time.

Boss Pellegrini pulled no punches afterwards. He said: “Was I angry at half-time? Yes of course. I was ashamed of them.

“I didn’t expect it, the attitude, playing against a team that sits two divisions below us, but in football, you can lose in two or three balls.

“They started the way we needed to start and when you have such high pace with the quality of the players and we didn’t have the same level.”

Wally Downes
Wally Downes had plenty to celebrate after his side’s famous FA Cup win over West Ham (Daniel Hambury/PA)

Marko Arnautovic was left out of the squad following his recent flirtation with a move to China.

Yet 10 minutes after the final whistle West Ham announced the Austrian forward had signed a new contract, although they made no mention of the length of the extension.

Pellegrini, not at all impressed by the whole Arnautovic saga this month, refused to even discuss the announcement, angrily insisting: “I only talk about the cup.

“Ask me about the game today and I will answer. Any other question I will not answer.”

By contrast, it was a sweet evening for Dons boss Wally Downes, a fully paid-up member of the original Wimbledon ‘Crazy Gang’ from back in the day, as well as a former West Ham coach.

AFC Wimbledon v West Ham United – FA Cup – Fourth Round – Kingsmeadow
Scott Wagstaff celebrated with his team-mates after scoring Wimbledon’s third goal (Daniel Hambury/PA)

“It was terrific, I’m really pleased for the boys, they put in a shift, said Downes, whose side only four days earlier were beaten 3-0 at home by Fleetwood.

He added: “Of course, you don’t expect to be 3-0 up against a Premier League team.

“I said you don’t get medals at half-time in any game, it was important we approached the second half well. We proved that by getting the third goal, it was terrific.

“The first time they’ve not performed for me was Tuesday night. Having to play this game the fear factor kicked in.

“If they’d played as badly it would have been a cricket score. The attitude was spot on tonight.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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