'Staying up would be my best moment'
Saturday 14 May 2011
As far-fetched as it sounds given the fact his West Ham team have spent much of the season in the Premier League's bottom three, Avram Grant has enjoyed considerable success as a manager in the past.
Apart from making it to the Champions League and FA Cup finals with Chelsea and Portsmouth respectively, he has won no less than seven trophies in Israel. But he claims they would all pale in comparison if he manages to keep West Ham in the top flight for another season.
It is a tall order for the West Ham manager, who is refusing to discuss his future at the club until after the season is over. That moment could be close this afternoon if Wolves manage to beat Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
"For me the most important thing now, what will make me happy more than any time in my professional life is if we stay in the league," Grant said. "That's how it looks to me now. I have had a lot of happy days in football, including in England.
"At my last two clubs, the last games at Portsmouth and Chelsea, the supporters came to these games so happy and for me it was so good. I want the supporters of West Ham to feel this way at the end of the season. I would like that very much."
If West Ham do go down, it will be Grant's second consecutive relegation and he admits that unlike last season at Portsmouth, when the club "concentrated on the FA Cup", as he described their throwing in of the towel in the Premier League after they had been docked nine points, this will be his own responsibility. But he defended his record in this country. "I don't like to think about myself but in the other teams I did what nobody expected me to do – not at Portsmouth or at Chelsea," he said. "Here they expect me to stay in the League and I want to do that."
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