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Championship strugglers Crystal Palace host Cardiff this Saturday lunchtime, see the full BestPrice betting here – 12:45 SS1

West Ham manager, Gianfranco Zola believes the owner’s public criticism of the team could have damaged its chances of avoiding relegation from the Premier League.

In an open letter to fans, posted on the club’s Web site, co-owner David Sullivan described Tuesday’s 3-1 home defeat to Wolverhampton as “pathetic.”

“The owner is entitled to have his opinion and express it, because he is the owner,” Zola said. “However, when you use those words, you have to be very careful how you use them because sometimes they can be painful and cause more damage than you can imagine, and that could be the case. How will the players be feeling?”

Zola said he hasn’t spoken to Sullivan since the defeat which leaves West Ham just three points above the relegation zone with seven matches to go.

“I was very disappointed and (Sullivan) will know that,” the Italian said. “It is not pleasant, but I am not going to retaliate.”

West Ham hosts Stoke on Saturday with speculation mounting that Zola’s future as manager is on the line.

“While I can see that I can do something good for this club, I am not going to walk away,” said Zola, who joined the Upton Park club in September 2008.

“A lot has been happening, but if I can be helpful, then why shouldn’t I be here?”

Championship strugglers Crystal Palace host Cardiff this Saturday lunchtime, see the full BestPrice betting here – 12:45 SS1

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