Hammers Grant: ‘Blackpool are the team of the season’

West Ham go to Blackpool desperate for three points to take them off the bottom of the table.

WEST HAM go into their Premier League clash at Bloomfield Road on Wednesday night with boss Avram Grant extolling the virtues of the Tangerines.

Blackpool have been hit by a transfer request from star man Charlie Adam as well as a threat from manager Ian Holloway to resign over an FA charge, but Grant believes that will have no effect.

“We had the same problem at the beginning of the season when everybody talked about Scott Parker, just as they were about Charlie Adam,” said Grant.

“It is always good that you have players that everyone wants, but I think we need to know that Blackpool is a very good team.

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“For me they are the team of the season and they have the manager of the season too.

“They have done miracles. Nobody thought they would be so close to the Champions League positions and I like how they play football.”

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Tonight’s clash is the first of three vital fixtures against teams around them in the relegation battle, with Birmingham coming to Upton Park on Sunday, before a trip to West Brom the following weekend.

So will this be the defining moment for the Hammers? Grant has heard it all before.

“How many times have you asked this question?” said the West Ham boss.

“They are very important games because we are coming into the last third of the season.

“It is like a marathon, but for me always the next game is the most important.”

Grant was playing his cards close to his chest when asked about a possible team for tonight, but Robbie Keane is likely to go straight into the starting line-up, perhaps alongside Carlton Cole up front.

The manager certainly has plenty of options up front and it is a situation he is relishing: “This is a good thing. We have four good strikers and it is good to have this problem. It is certainly a better situation than it was before.”

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