Grant: We have spirit to survive

The Hammers looked down and out at the break after strikes from

Graham Dorrans and Jerome Thomas and Winston Reid’s own goal had

put Albion 3-0 up in front of their new head coach Roy Hodgson, who

was watching from the stands. But things could not have been more

different after the restart as Demba Ba’s double – on his first

start for the Londoners – and a header from Carlton Cole in between

ensured the match finished 3-3. West Ham, who had the likes of

Robbie Keane, Victor Obinna and Matthew Upson missing due to

injury, went into the game bottom of the Barclays Premier League

and Grant hailed the spirit they showed to secure a draw that sees

them move up to 19th – two points away from 17th-placed West Brom.

“I think we have what you need to stay up,” Grant said. “If you

look at other teams, if they had the problems we have had this

year, I’m sure after the first half, the spirit would be very low.

“But this team, despite what we have had this season, have shown a

lot of character and spirit and I don’t think another team in this

position could do that.” In the absence of Keane (calf) and Obinna

(ankle), Grant was delighted to see Ba shine up front. “It is the

first game that he started and it is not easy,” Grant said of the

former Hoffenheim forward. “In the first half you could see that he

was not used to English football, but he adjusted very well and

scored two goals. He is a good striker.” Asked what he had said to

his players during the interval, Grant joked: “It is better that

you don’t know!” before adding: “We just spoke about how to change

the game and the way we were playing because we had started the

game not organised at all. “We gave them a lot of possession and

didn’t defend well. If you don’t defend, you see what happens, but

we spoke about this.” West Brom were overseen by Michael Appleton,

who was put in caretaker charge last weekend following the

dismissal of Roberto Di Matteo and will hand over the reins to

Hodgson on Monday. Appleton, previously first-team coach at The

Hawthorns, revealed he had dinner with Hodgson on Friday night and

that the pair are set to work together. “I spoke to Roy last night

and he said he is keen to work with me,” Appleton said. “Obviously

I would be daft not to work with someone of his experience in the

game. “I’m sure that sort of thing will be qualified over the next

few days from the football club, but as far as I’m concerned, he is

more than happy for me to work alongside him.” Appleton, who

confirmed midfielder Youssouf Mulumbu was withdrawn from the action

early on as a precaution due a hamstring problem, is relishing the

chance to link up with the former Liverpool manager. “Roy has a

fantastic record and has worked at some wonderful clubs in

different countries,” Appleton said. “He has a wealth of experience

and I can’t wait to work alongside him. “It was my first game today

and I’ve embraced it and enjoyed it, even if there was a little bit

of relief towards the end to get the point.” Grant also welcomed

Hodgson’s return to Premier League football. “I like Roy – I have

known him for a long time and he has had a fantastic career,” the

Israeli said. “Everybody needs to respect what he has done,

everywhere in the world, and I’m sure that it is a good signing for

West Brom – even though I thought Di Matteo did a very good job

here.”