Kevin Phillips has hit out at Manuel Pellegrini for blaming his sacking on a West Ham downturn inspired by Roberto Jimenez.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-England and Premier League striker claimed it was “very harsh” to point the finger at the Spanish goalkeeper.

Pellegrini told Chilean newspaper La Tercera, as quoted by the Daily Mail: “Unfortunately, we had a major injury, from the goalkeeper [Lukasz Fabianski] of four months. And the performance of the second [Roberto] was not as expected.

“He had responsibility in several goals. The team was losing confidence, the results were denied and the owners decided to change.”

The 33-year-old, who was signed by Pellegrini on a free transfer last summer, came into the side at the end of September after first-choice Lukasz Fabianski sustained a hip injury that sidelined him for three months.

The Hammers failed to win any of the following six matches in which the Spaniard deputised in goal but Phillips does not feel he was the reason for Pellegrini’s dismissal.

“That is harsh,” Phillips told Football Insider. “To blame a goalkeeper for his sacking. How many times have managers come out after they have left and laid the blame at someone’s feet?

“I do not see that. It is a combination of things that get a manager sacked, not just one. Is it sour grapes? I do not know. Very harsh on the player. It is wrong.”

Pellegrini’s 18-month reign came to an end in December but the appointment of David Moyes as his replacement has failed to have the desired effect in terms of results.

West Ham are 18th in the Premier League table, in the relegation zone and fighting for survival.

In other West Ham news, it can be REVEALED that the club are planning to sell £18m man at a big loss this summer.