Grant seeks repeat performance

26 October 2010 04:16
Avram Grant hopes history repeats itself in more ways than one when West Ham face Stoke for a place in the Carling Cup quarter-finals.[LNB] Grant pits his wits against Potters boss Tony Pulis in the fourth round of the competition for the second straight year after managing Portsmouth to a 4-0 victory over the Staffordshire side last season.[LNB]More importantly, relegation-haunted Pompey took the confidence from that win into their next Premier League game against Wigan, who they thrashed by the same scoreline.[LNB]"It would be very nice to repeat that," said Grant, who is back under pressure at the rock-bottom Hammers after their five-match unbeaten run came to an end on Saturday.[LNB]"I remember the game well. It was three weeks after I arrived and it was a great game. After that, we also won a big game in the league and the football side improved."[LNB]That pattern has continued somewhat at Grant's new club, with West Ham following up last month's Carling Cup third-round win at Sunderland with their first league victory of the season against Tottenham.[LNB]Grant added: "The Carling Cup is important. We won at Sunderland in the last round and this gave us a big lift forward for the league. We played well against a difficult team and then won against Tottenham. We want to do the same again."[LNB]West Ham have already had a semblance of success against Stoke this term, ending their four-match losing start with a 1-1 draw at the Britannia Stadium three days before their Carling Cup win at Sunderland.[LNB]Grant said: "It will be a big test. Against Stoke, it is always a battle, a physical and mental battle.[LNB]"You always need to be awake, as it is a different style of football.[LNB]"We did well at Stoke in the league last month and I hope we reproduce that."[LNB]Saturday's defeat to Newcastle left West Ham rooted to the foot of the Premier League but the atmosphere in the camp has been upbeat since, according to Grant.[LNB]"I have been surprised by the mood," he told the club's official website.[LNB]"The players are disappointed, of course, but they are more determined to get back to the form that we have shown in the past month.[LNB]"We had been much better than we were at the start of the season and enjoyed a good unbeaten run.[LNB]"Unfortunately, we lost the game on Saturday. We cannot change these things but we can learn from it.[LNB]"We need to focus on the positive side. We have learnt from our mistakes before and come back strongly."[LNB]Grant is set to be without captain Matthew Upson and striker Frederic Piquionne on Wednesday night, with both players going off injured against Newcastle.[LNB]"The medical department are doing their best to get as many players ready as possible," said Grant, who will introduce one or two fringe men to his squad.[LNB]"We have a few players that are coming back from injury and we need to protect them. It is not easy.[LNB]"We want to use them. It is difficult when you play two times a week but we will do the best we can."

Source: Team_Talk


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