Grant thinks a magnificent seven may be enough for West Ham survival
The Hammers boss would love nine points from the last three games, but he says that seven may be enough to ensure Premier League football next term.
Beleaguered West Ham boss Avram Grant believes that seven points from their remaining three games will be enough to save the club’s Premier League status.
Defeat at Manchester City on Sunday left them rooted to the bottom of the table, but with only Saturday’s opponents Blackburn Rovers of the bottom seven teams winning, Grant is still convinced that the Hammers destiny is in their own hands.
“I think it will be between seven and nine points,” said the boss after Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at the City of Manchester Stadium.
“In the last couple of games, the teams fighting against relegation were playing at home and I thought they would take more points than they did.
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“Maybe seven would be enough, but first we need to win the next game and not get busy with speculation.”
Scott Parker, who has missed the last three defeats with an Achilles injury, is almost certain to return to the starting line-up, even if he is only 70 per cent fit, while the chances of skipper Matty Upson and midfielder Mark Noble being available are less clear.
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Upson hobbled off after 25 minutes of Sunday’s game, while Noble is still being assessed after damaging a hernia in the defeat against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.
Whatever the calculations, everyone is convinced that Saturday’s clash is a must-win game.
“We need to take the points,” insisted Grant. “There is no doubt about it, we cannot do anything except taking points.
“We are in a position to take the points and I think we showed against Manchester City that we can do it.”
Grant will need to prepare his players better than he did against Manchester City.
There they were blown away from the first whistle and all but out of the game after 15 minutes, but the manager insists that he does not care how his team performs, as long as they win on Saturday.
“In the last two games, everyone could see we deserved more, but we didn’t take any points,” he said. “In the next game, we need to take the points and it doesn’t matter how.
“It will be very important for us. I know the supporters are waiting for this game so it will be a good opportunity.”
Blackburn grabbed a first win in 11 games by beating Bolton Wanderers on Saturday, but a victory for West Ham this weekend may well drag them back into the relegation picture.
“We wanted Blackburn to be fighting against relegation as well,” said the manager. “But the other teams didn’t win, so it stayed more or less the same.
“There is pressure, but it is also a challenge. We have the chance to stay in the league if we win these three games, but first we have to look to the next game.
“I think Blackburn is the most important and it is a great chance. If we win, everything will be open to stay in the league.”
Pass round the valium!