Kemp plays down Grant absence

16 September 2010 03:30
Stoke face opponents with an absent manager for the second successive match at the weekend but assistant boss Dave Kemp has played down the significance it may have on the result. On Monday the Potters came from behind to beat Aston Villa, with Gerard Houllier back home in France on a prior engagement, and they now take on rock-bottom West Ham, who will not be able to call on Avram Grant. The Israeli will be observing Yom Kippur, a key date in the Jewish calendar which involves fasting and prayer over the course of Friday night and Saturday. As a result Grant's assistant Zeljko Petrovic will take charge but Kemp, who himself was given a more involved role on Monday after the death of manager Tony Pulis' mother hours before the game, is focusing on getting his side prepared. "West Ham is not my concern. I have to make sure our players are ready and our manager will be ready to go and that is all I'm bothered about it," he said. "We can affect what happens at Stoke, I don't know what goes on at West Ham."

Source: PA