Hammers boss: ‘Pressure - I love it!’

West Ham manager Avram Grant is enjoying the pressure at Upton Park this season as they prepare for tonight’s crunch clash with West Brom.

BOTTOM OF THE TABLE, only one league win all season and with the club owner setting points targets for the next few games, you would think West Ham boss Avram Grant would be crumbling under the pressure – not a bit of it.

The Israeli coach thinks it is only a matter of time before his squad start to fulfil their potential and he is hoping that tonight’s vital home clash with West Brom will kick-start that renaissance.

“Do you see any club without pressure? There is not football without pressure,” said the boss.

“My job is to be guilty. This is the job of a football manager and nothing will change.

“I had pressure when I was top of the table with Chelsea, I had it as a national coach.

“Of course, this is a different type of pressure, but as I have said before, I don’t think it is a bad thing to have – I don’t think pressure is a bad word.

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“I was a few months without pressure in the past and I did not know what to do with myself.”

The atmosphere is likely to be tense at Upton Park tonight (Wednesday) with Roberto Di Matteo’s side determined to end a run of two straight defeats against Blackpool and Manchester City.

Despite that blip, it has been an impressive start to the campaign for the Baggies who have excited Grant.

“They have been unbelievable,” he said. “They are very good, not just with the points they have taken, but the football they have played has been very good.

“They have won at the Emirates, they have taken points off the big teams and I think they have done a great job.”

Grant is still confident of grabbing the win and following it up with victory over Blackpool at Upton Park on Saturday.

“Our target is to be off the bottom of the table by Saturday night,” said the manager. “Our biggest problem is to keep doing what we are doing because the points will come.

“The quality of our football is better, but we also need to take points because we don’t have enough, starting with West Brom.”

Grant has found himself rooted at the bottom for a year now, first with Portsmouth, then with the Hammers, but he thinks that this battle is one that he has the power to turn round.

“Last year it wasn’t about football, here I am dealing with football,” said Grant.

“We have problems, we don’t have enough points, we have suffered from referee’s mistakes, sometimes we don’t do the right things, but this is football and it is my job to deal with that.

“We need points. That is true if a journalist says it, or if the owner says it. We know it is true, but if you think I, or the players need to be told this – you are wrong.”

Kieron Dyer (right) has been pronounced fit and is battling for a starting spot tonight, but Grant may be tempted to stick with the same team that impressed for so long at Birmingham City on Saturday.

One thing that he will not compromise though is the quality of football that the team play.

“We always play to take the points,” he said. “Sometimes we will have different formations, sometimes we even change it during games, but we will not change our style of football.”

After all the disappointments so far this season, tonight is where it really gets serious. West Ham simply have to win it.

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