Absent Grant willing to take the blame
The 55-year-old Israeli travelled with his squad up to Stoke, but is not going to be involved in the match day as he participates in 25 hours of fasting and prayer. Grant maintains he is not a deeply religious person, but instead chooses to follow the customs out of respect for his parents, who survived the Holocaust, and their heritage. The Hammers boss insists the team will be fully prepared and his coaching staff of Zeljko Petrovic, Paul Groves and Kevin Keen will have everything in hand as the Irons look to secure their first points of the new Barclays Premier League season. However, should things not go according to plan, Grant will not be looking to apportion blame. "I always accept responsibility," declared the West Ham manager. "I have been in England for five years and never put the responsibility elsewhere, even in very difficult situations. "But I am thinking positively and think we can do positive things. I want to see their character." Grant continued: "Before every game you think about any scenario - what will happen if we play well, if we are losing or if we are not playing well? "In a game you can plan a lot of things, but there are things you do not plan and you have to be ready for anything." Grant observed Yom Kippur prior to his first match as Chelsea manager three years ago before flying by helicopter to Old Trafford for the game against Manchester United. The Israeli revealed there had been a few negative comments from some West Ham supporters, but the majority of the reaction had been of respect - including from the club chaplain. "I heard about a few of them, but it is normal, some of the people don't understand it," Grant said. "It is a good lesson for them to understand and respect, I don't think they are coming from a bad attitude or something like that." Israeli defender Tal Ben Haim will also not feature on Saturday. Grant added: "I spoke to a few of the players and they know. They respect the tradition and said 'if you stay away we will do our job'. "I spoke with the owners, the board and many, many supporters. I have had a lot of e-mails. "All my life I have respected others and it is good it is happening the other way." West Ham have lost all of their four games so far, and sit rock bottom of the table. However, Grant - appointed as Gianfranco Zola's replacement in the summer - maintains his focus is as strong as ever. He said: "It doesn't matter what the situation is. With my team now it is to stick at your way and pick up more points, at a top club it is not to lose even one point. It is the same pressure, just different versions. But I think it is good and pushes you to think all the time. "West Ham is a good project. Even though we have zero points I am very confident in what we are doing and I still believe we can do the right things for the club."