Slaven Bilic has defended his West Ham players over their controversial night out earlier this week.
The Hammers have launched an investigation after pictures emerged of Andy Carroll and goalkeeper Darren Randolph allegedly appearing drunk on Tuesday afternoon following a team-bonding exercise on Monday.
The snaps have infuriated Hammers fans with the club languishing in the Premier League relegation zone having lost five of their six matches this season.
Yet under-pressure boss Bilic has taken full responsibility for his players letting their hair down, and insisted the night out was good for team spirit.
“To spend time together is always good. I’ve been there before, it’s definitely a good idea and good to do it.
“There have been some rumours and all that but it’s private, it’s not proven, we are going to see what happened.
“I spoke to the chairman, but of course I’m totally concentrated on the game on Saturday. After the game, at the start of next week, we are going to talk about it and if necessary we are going to act.
“But it was my idea, completely. I told them to do that. For me it’s a good thing to do, not every week, but in a great situation or a bad situation, it’s good to stick together and it’s a good thing to do. It’s good for team building, and that’s it.”
In a week where off-field matters have taken centre stage, Bilic could do without his side’s struggles being magnified, but he admits he is worried by their dreadful start to the season.
“I am concerned. It’s a very bad start,” he added. “It’s not only about football then. If it’s like that then people start talking about non-football things that are happening. It’s not only that.
“If we are talking about the last five Premier League games then it’s simply not the way we expected it to be, it’s definitely no good and that’s why the only thing we are thinking about is the game on Saturday against Middlesbrough.”