West Ham boss Avram Grant on his side's future

01 April 2011 02:46
Avram Grant believes West Ham have a bright future ahead of them if they can secure Barclays Premier League survival this season.[LNB]The Hammers endured a difficult start to the campaign as they battled with poor form and a plethora of injuries, but have responded well since the turn of the year.[LNB]The change in fortunes has helped propel the Londoners off the foot of the table and out of the relegation zone, although they still sit 17th in the table.[LNB] Rallying call: Grant is hoping his side can avoid the drop[LNB]West Ham midfielder Mark Noble argued earlier this week that the squad's talent belies their lowly position and under Grant's tutorship they can reach the Champions League next season.[LNB]The former Chelsea and Portsmouth manager laughed off Noble's comments but admitted the future is rosy if they can stave off relegation.[LNB]'It is good that players have ambition but first we need to stay in the league,' he said, speaking ahead of tomorrow's clash with Manchester United at Upton Park.[LNB]'As I said when I came here and even when we had difficult times, we have a vision at this club.[LNB]'Part of the vision is to be in the top third of the league and I think we can do it, but we need to do it step by step.[LNB]'First we need to stay in the league, second we need to analyse what we can do better in the next season.[LNB]'One thing I agree with Mark about - without mentioning the Champions League - is that this team is a good team and we can improve. In the next year we can get better and better.'[LNB] Sorely missed: Hitzlsperger (right) has recently returned to the Hammers side[LNB]The Hammers are in the midst of an impressive run that has seen them shore up their ailing defence and net more regularly.[LNB]The change in fortunes has coincided with Thomas Hitzlsperger's return from a thigh injury sustained in pre-season training.[LNB]The Germany international made his long-awaited Hammers debut in the 5-1 FA Cup defeat of Burnley and has since become an integral part of Grant's squad.[LNB]The former Chelsea and Portsmouth boss believes Hitzlsperger has been a catalyst to West Ham's recovery but refuses to think what could have been.[LNB]'My father always told me to look forward so to look back is only to learn from things.[LNB]'We didn't have Thomas and we know if he had been with us maybe we had, not for sure, more points.[LNB]'He is a very good player, a very good person and a top professional.[LNB]'You know we took him at the start of the season and he was our first signing because we saw that he would add a lot to the midfield.[LNB]'He is a player that knows how to do everything: defence, movement, assist and scoring goals.[LNB]'We missed him a lot and now we are playing like we did in the preparation games and his contribution you can see. It has been good and it can be better.'[LNB] Goal king: Demba Ba is proving a shrewd signing by Grant in his bid to beat the drop[LNB]This weekend Hitzlsperger and his West Ham team-mates face a tough test against leaders Manchester United.[LNB]The Hammers thrashed United 4-0 the last time the pair came to blows in the Carling Cup, but Grant knows they will be a vastly different proposition tomorrow.[LNB]'Manchester United are a very good team. They can beat any team on the day but I think also we can cause them a lot of problems.[LNB]'What happened in the Carling Cup was unique, you know, to beat Manchester United 4-0 in an official competition is something we will remember but the next game is different.'[LNB] Furious Grant claims refereeing errors have cost West Ham a shot at Europe West Ham boss Avram Grant handed break in relegation dogfightAll the latest West Ham news, features and opinion  

Source: Daily_Mail