Grant: Irons will be 100% ready

BY foxsports • September 17, 2010

The 55-year-old Israeli will travel with the squad up to Stoke this afternoon, but is not going to be involved in the match day as he participates in 25 hours of fasting and prayer for Yom Kippur. 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 Premier League season. "I will not be at the stadium. This is a very significant day and out of respect for my father and to mother, especially after all they have gone through, the traditions of thousands of years, it is one day in the year that I always respect, since I have been a child," said Grant, who 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. "Unfortunately it came on this Saturday, but I am going to respect it. "I have a lot of respect for thousands of years of tradition, which I think a lot of people can understand. "I have players from all religions, and they know that there needs to be respect for the traditions. "I didn't notice any negative reaction. Everyone was very positive and even the rector Alan [club chaplain Rev Alan Bolding] came to visit me today. "We have had a lot of e-mails, a lot of support from the board, the owners and the fans." Grant maintained: "I may not be in the dugout, but we have prepared well. "The meeting with the team, the talking with the team, the tactics, the training and the preparation for the team is the same. "The team will be ready 100% and that's what is important. "I have good staff, they know exactly what they need to know in any situation, and so do the team." 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. "All my life I feel under pressure. I don't want to live without this pressure," said the former Chelsea and Portsmouth boss. "I was in a team at the top and when you drew it was a pressure. I was at a team with problems and I was with the national team where you have the pressure of all the country on your back. "I don't think it is a good pressure, but the pressure to push you is a good pressure." Grant maintained: "Even though we have zero points, I believe in this team, that we can have a good season. "We know what our target is and it didn't change. "Against the best team in the country [Chelsea], we didn't give up. "We deserved more than we got, but in football there is no deserve. "I know that it's very difficult for any team to play at the Britannia Stadium, but it's also a good challenge." West Ham keeper Robert Green has found himself in the spotlight following a less-than assured start to the new campaign for the England keeper following his World Cup disappointment. Grant, though, maintains the Irons number one will not let last week's setback - when he spilled Didier Drogba's free-kick which led to a farcical second goal for Chelsea - play on his mind. "It has happened to every goalkeeper and the most important thing is his reaction, because mistakes are part of the game," said Grant. "I have a feeling you will see Rob Green at his best tomorrow."