Grant won't stand in Wally's way

BY foxsports • December 11, 2010

The Londoners, who have one of the worst defensive records in the Premier League, have conceded two goals in the three matches since Downes' appointment as defensive coach last month. The former Brentford boss has become a popular figure with the fans, who have been encouraged by his vocal presence on the touchline. The Hammers could face a potential problem, however, if Pardew decides that he wishes to renew his partnership with Downes at Newcastle. Pardew values Downes' input highly, having worked with the 49-year-old at former clubs Southampton and Reading. Grant has been delighted with Downes' impact on the club but would not block a move if he chose to leave for St James' Park. Grant said: "I like Wally Downes and have built a very good relationship in a short time but I cannot answer for him. "He is here, he is happy and we are happy with him (but) I've never stopped anyone (from leaving) in my life - not a player, not anyone. "There is a contract between him and the club but I must say we are happy with him and he is happy with us." Grant poured scorn on another potential departure from the club in midfield talisman Scott Parker. Parker has been an outstanding performer in what has otherwise been a drab year for the east London outfit, who are rooted to the bottom of the league as the season approaches the halfway point. With the January transfer window drawing closer, suggestions that Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is ready to reignite his interest in Parker have gathered momentum but Grant insists the England international is going nowhere. "I am confident Scott will stay," said Grant. "He is a good player for us. West Ham is a good club for him too. "He has developed this season. Before everyone was saying 'it's not good that he's at West Ham' but this season has been his best so far so it's good for him to stay and he is good for the club." Grant has begun negotiations with owners David Gold and David Sullivan about potential transfer targets as he looks to solve the problems that have plagued his team at both ends of the pitch. Tottenham's Robbie Keane, Aston Villa striker John Carew and Newcastle midfielder Joey Barton have all being linked with the club. Grant would not be drawn on specific targets but admitted that he is keen to strengthen his squad. "It's not a secret that we need to be stronger," said Grant, whose side face Manchester City on Saturday. "In one area we don't have any players and in other areas we have one. "We have had a lot of injuries this season so we need a few areas to be stronger. We will do it in January, not massively - maybe two or three players." Grant also conceded that his budget would be limited by West Ham's financial situation, with the club currently over £90million in debt. "How many we sign depends on how much money we can spend," said the 55-year-old. "We are discussing transfers with the owners but you must remember that they bought the club with a lot of debt so they are trying to solve the financial situation. "I don't think we will have a lot of money but we will deal with it." Valon Behrami could be absent for Saturday's match at Upton Park as he struggles to recover from a hip injury. The Hammers, who are unbeaten in their last five home matches, will move above Wolves into 19th if they gain a point on Saturday, with Mick McCarthy's men facing Birmingham on Sunday.


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