Former Brentford manager Wally Downes has taken up a position as West Ham's defensive coach.The 49-year-old's appointment comes a day after assistant manager Zeljko Petrovic left his role with the Premier League's bottom club. [LNB]Downes told the Evening Standard: "It is an honour to be asked to help such a good club. I will do my best to help lift them out of the relegation area." [LNB]Downes also worked under Steve Coppell during a successful spell at Reading. [LNB]After leaving the Royals in the summer of 2009, he had a brief stint as coach at Southampton with ex-Irons boss Alan Pardew before the coaching staff departed St Mary's in August.[LNB] He is a fiery character, so at the very least he will inject a bit of passion in the set up D I CANdId O He also previously worked with Coppell at Palace before following him to Brentford in 2000. [LNB]When Coppell left Brentford in June 2002, Downes took over the managerial reigns at Griffin Park, leading the club to 16th in what is now League One before being sacked in March the following season with the club near the bottom of the table. [LNB]West Ham have nine points from 14 league games this season, and are five points adrift from safety. [LNB]Vice-Chairman Karren Brady told BBC Sport last week that manager Avram Grant was likely to be manager at the end of the season. [LNB]However, 45-year-old Montenegrin Petrovic departed after less than four months with the club and the Upton Park board have billed the home match with Wigan on Saturday as a 'save our season game'. [LNB]In addition, former West Ham striker and fans' favourite Paolo Di Canio has been linked with a return to his old club in a coaching role.