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By ESPN Staff
Jan 3, 2007

Benayoun: Hammers played like drunks

West Ham 'played like a bunch of drunks' at Reading and will be all but relegated if they lose to Fulham, according to midfielder Yossi Benayoun.

The Hammers' miserable season reached a new low on Monday when they were thrashed 6-0 at the Madejski Stadium, leaving them four points adrift of Premiership safety.

'I am ashamed. I am shocked at the way we played. We played like a bunch of drunks,' Benayoun said in The Sun.

'If we keep on playing like this, we will definitely be relegated.

'The situation is very bad. I felt like crying.'

The Hammers' have been forced to wait almost a fortnight for their next league outing when they host Fulham in a London derby.

It is a match 26-year-old Benayoun believes the club cannot afford to lose.

'If we lose against Fulham, we will be digging a grave for ourselves,' he added.

'It's become the most important game of the season.

'Hopefully, everyone will wake up now and give more than 100% of their ability.

'We must take courage out of the mud on the football field.'

West Ham's troubles increased yesterday with the news Lee Bowyer has been ruled out for six weeks.

The midfielder - 30 today - dislocated a shoulder in Monday's 6-0 Barclays Premiership defeat at Reading.

Bowyer was forced off in the 17th minute after falling awkwardly under a challenge from James Harper.

Hammers' head physiotherapist Steve Allen said: 'Lee sustained a dislocation to his right shoulder - and although the joint is now back in place, he will be in a brace for around three weeks.'

Allen added on his club's official website, www.whufc.co.uk: 'We are probably looking at a spell of six weeks before he is fit to play again.'

West Ham's plight has failed to improve since Alan Pardew was replaced as manager by Alan Curbishley last month and Benayoun fears this latest debacle may see his new boss renege on a promise not to offload any players during the January transfer window.

'Curbishley said to the players that no-one will go - but who knows after this game?

'At the moment, I am not going. The fans like me, I have had no offers.'