Grant: Irons ‘deserve’ survival

After seemingly overcoming a turbulent start to the season, West

Ham have dropped to 19th in the Premier League and face a difficult

set of fixtures as they look to secure their survival. First up is

a trip to Grant’s former club Chelsea and the Israeli believes his

team have the potential to surprise. “Chelsea are a good team,” he

said. “They know how to play football and even when they are not in

top form they are a good team. “And you don’t just look at the

players they play, their bench is also strong. “They are a strong

side but in football you need to believe all the time that you can

do something and we believe that we can do it. “The one thing that

is important is that we need to give everything to stay in the

league and I think we deserve to be here. “Look over the season at

the football we have played and the character we have shown in

very, very difficult moments, and the decisions of the referees,

including in the last game (a 2-1 home defeat by Aston Villa). “We

fought against everything so we deserve to stay up, but nobody will

give this to us so we need to do it.” After their trip to west

London, Grant’s side travel to Manchester City before ending the

campaign with home games against Blackburn and Sunderland either

side of a trip to Wigan. However, Grant insists his only focus is

getting points off Carlo Ancelotti’s team. “I will speak about

Manchester City after Chelsea but we want to take points even from

these games,” he said. “We know they are a good team and that these

two teams are some of the best in the country so they will be tough

games. “We are concentrating firstly on the game tomorrow and then

we’ll think about Manchester City.” Grant will be missing several

key players for Saturday’s clash, with several notable absentees in

midfield. An Achilles complaint rules out newly-crowned Football

Writers’ Association Player of the Year Scott Parker, while Gary

O’Neill faces an extended spell on the sidelines with ankle

ligament damage. Reports suggest the former Portsmouth and

Middlesbrough man’s career is in the balance and that he is

considering taking legal action against Villa midfielder Nigel

Reo-Coker for the tackle. Grant claimed not to know anything about

the possibility of legal action and remained upbeat about O’Neil’s

recovery. “The latest is that he has a bad injury but hopefully he

can be back after a few months,” he said. “You never know with

these injuries but we are very positive about him. “He is very

strong character, good player, he did a lot for us in a very short

period of time. “Also off the pitch he is a top professional person

and even when he played last week he was very good. I wish him all

the best.”