We’re backing the Hammers boss

West Ham’s senior players insist they are fully behind their under pressure manager Avram Grant.

THREE OF West Ham’s star men have thrown their support behind under pressure manager Avram Grant as speculation continues that he is about to be replaced.

After the Hammers’ dramatic 2-1 Carling Cup semi-final first leg victory over Birmingham City on Tuesday night, Mark Noble, James Tomkins and Scott Parker took time out to back the boss as they battle against relegation.

Noble, who scored the first goal at Upton Park, emphasised the effort that the players were currently putting in on the field.

“So much has been said about the manager over the last couple of months,” said the West Ham midfield star.

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“You can see how the boys worked against Birmingham and if they didn’t like the manager I don’t think you would have got that effort from them.

“That shows we are behind him and playing for the club and that is what we need do to.”

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Central defender James Tomkins, who was voted the sponsor’s man of the match for his efforts on Tuesday, was also quick to praise the efforts of the Israeli coach.

“We are all aware of what’s happening in the press and there’s speculation about the manager’s job, but we’re all playing for him and doing our best for the team,” said the 21-year-old.

“I feel for him. It’s not always the manager’s fault.

“The players go on the pitch and we have to take responsibility for the way we’ve performed.

“It’s not all down to him.”

Certainly, West Ham’s performances and spirit have improved since Christmas.

Aside from the dour performance at Newcastle, they have won four of their last six games.

Grant himself said that the speculation was not helping the players, but senior player Scott Parker revealed that he has learned to live with a constant stream of stories in the newspapers.

“Of course you read it, but I think since I’ve been at West Ham every day in the paper there has been something where things are being said about the club from inside and out,” reflected Parker.

“For me personally, I’ve come to realise that if you believe everything you read your head would be in a weird place.

“As a player all you can do is concentrate on what you are doing. I know it is cliche, but it is the truth. If I read and believed everything I read in the papers I would be a stressed man.”

Grant showed little sign of stress when he spoke to the press following Tuesday night’s victory.

“Don’t worry about me I’ll be fine,” he told the newsmen. “I really appreciate that you like me and you want me to be near you, I like you also!”

Grant laughing and joking! Whatever next?

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