West Ham United captain Lucas Neill says Bristol Rovers midfielder Joe Jacobson did not mean to injure Kieron Dyer.

Dyer, who was making his first start for the club, will be out for many months after he fractured his tibia and fibula early in the 2-1 victory when Jacobson stretched out in a tackle. Alan Curbishley, the West Ham manager, accused Jacobson of deliberately "lashing out" at Dyer. Mike Jones, the referee, awarded a free kick but took no further action.

"It wasn't an overly aggressive challenge or full of malice but it was a foul," Neill said. "Everyone is devastated that it has happened to the poor lad [Dyer]. We really feel for him. We're all going to go and visit him and hope that he has a speedy recovery.

"It's the scariest time for a footballer and no one likes to see it. He's only been here a couple of weeks and after all the activity that went on trying to get him as well. He was starting to look really good, he was hungry, he was determined to do well and he was looking sharp in training. He has great experience, both internationally and domestically, and it's a big loss."