Grant’s only target is survival

The Hammers endured a tumultuous start to the season but have

impressed of late, hauling themselves off the bottom of the table

and out of the relegation zone in the process. However, with eight

games remaining the London outfit still teeter dangerously close to

the precipice and face league leaders Manchester United on

Saturday. Grant is targeting another victory against United after

thrashing them 4-0 in the Carling Cup the last time the pair met,

but the Hammers boss insists that consistency rather than a points

target will be most important in the run-in. “We have spoken about

being more consistent in our games and making a good balance

between defence and offence,” he said. “We have also talked about

scoring more goals and conceding less goals and about how we do it.

We train different too. “But I don’t believe in [having a points

target] so much because last year West Ham stayed in the league

with 35 points. “The year before it was 35, two years before it was

38 and this season I think it will be 40 and more. “We want to take

as many points as we can and then who knows, nobody knows. “I don’t

think one manager knows how many points will be enough to stay in

the league.” Just eight points separate Bolton in seventh spot and

the final relegation berth in one of the tightest relegation

run-ins of recent years. Even bottom club Wigan are within 10

points of Owen Coyle’s side and Grant admits the fact so many teams

are in the relegation battle is comforting. “We have thought about

this but I am sure other teams are thinking the same thing,” he

said. “Every team can be relegated and every team can be in 11th

place at the end of the season, but we are only thinking about

ourselves. “I think we showed many good things even in the first

half of the season and now things are better, we are more

consistent. “If we only think about ourselves we can do it. It will

be tough, it is not easy and we don’t have easy games but also if

you look at our games we are not an easy team to beat.” The Hammers

can welcome back Frederic Piquionne and Robbie Keane from injury

this weekend as Grant looks to upset Sir Alex Ferguson’s side once

again at Upton Park. The Red Devils head to east London beset with

injuries, although Grant has rejected the notion that this will be

a big advantage to West Ham. “We don’t have a fully-fit squad but

we have more than we used to,” he added. “When West Ham have two or

three players injured it looks like there are no injuries because

you are used to 10 or 11 injuries. “But United are a very good

team. In any position they have two or three very good players.

They are in the first place in the league and we fully respect

them, but we need to think about ourselves. “From the last seven

games I think we have lost only one and we have improved a lot. “I

have not seen the statistics but if you compare the second half of

the league [season] to the first I think we have improved more than

50% and we want to continue with this.”