West Ham manager Gianfranco Zola maintains the time for talk is over as he looks to guide his side to safety - but believes the public criticism of the team from co-owner David Sullivan could do more "damage" than good.
In an open letter to fans, posted on the club's official website on Thursday, Sullivan - who recently completed a takeover at Upton Park along with David Gold - unveiled his anger at the team's 3-1 home defeat to Wolves on Tuesday night, slamming the performance as "shambolic" and "pathetic".
"The owner is entitled to have his opinion and express it, because he is the owner," said the former Chelsea forward, appointed in September last year after Alan Curbishley's departure. "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."
He added: "How will the players be feeling?"
Zola continued: "I was very disappointed and he will know that, although I have not spoken to him directly.
"It is not pleasant. But I am not going to retaliate or answer back.
"I will keep my focus on my job, I have a responsibility and will turn it into a positive thing for me and players.
"I will keep my head down and focus on the job."
"Now we just have to focus on playing, and stop talking."