Grant confident of survival
Avram Grant believes his January recruits can inspire West Ham to triumph in their relegation battle.
Last Updated: 31/01/11 4:47pm
Avram Grant believes his January recruits can inspire West Ham to triumph in their relegation battle and beat the drop.
The Hammers manager has bolstered his squad with the signings of Robbie Keane, Demba Ba, Gary O'Neil and Wayne Bridge over the past month.
Fresh faces were required after a dismal first half to the season which has left West Ham languishing at the bottom of the Premier League, two points adrift of safety.
Grant is now hoping the extra impetus which often comes from new players will pay off immediately in three crucial games, against Blackpool at Bloomfield Road on Wednesday, against Birmingham at home next Sunday and away to West Brom the following Saturday.
They are matches from which West Ham must gain a significant points return if they are to cash in on the optimism of recent performances.
"The squad is not bad but because of the injuries we've had we needed more players for competition and fresh legs," said Grant, whose side beat Nottingham Forest 3-2 at the weekend to progress to the fifth round of the FA Cup.
"We had injuries in the first half of the season. Things didn't go for us. We were looking for players to make up the 18 on match day so it was very difficult.
"The next game is very important to us. Against Blackpool the players will give everything they have. It is important for both teams but for us it is more important.
"Then we take on Birmingham. Both are teams near to us in the table so it is vital to pick up points. We will approach those games with confidence, especially if we can sustain the football we have played in recent games."
Keane's enthusiasm could give the Hammers an immediate lift and Grant is likely to throw him straight in against Blackpool.
He could form an exciting strikeforce alongside Frederic Piquionne and Victor Obinna, who scored a hat-trick against Forest.
And Obinna has dedicated his treble to the West Ham supporters he admits he let down by getting sent off in the Carling Cup semi-final against Birmingham.
"I was very stupid," Obinna said. "It happens in football but I apologise to the fans about that.
"I was mad with myself after the game because I left my team-mates with 10 men.
"I take full responsibility for that and it is definitely something that will never happen again."