Grant facing a thrifty January despite praise

West Ham co-owner David Gold believes Tuesday's Carling Cup quarter-final victory over Manchester United provides evidence Avram Grant is getting things right, but has warned the manager he will be expected to maintain improvement without making significant moves in the transfer market next month.

The 4-0 victory, West Ham's biggest over United since 1930, followed Saturday's 3-1 Premier League victory over Wigan and extended a run that has brought just one defeat in six games. Grant's claim that Tuesday was a turning point in the club's season will be tested when his side visit Sunderland on Sunday as they attempt to climb off the bottom of the table.

"With 35 points we got last season, normally that would get you relegated, so in actual fact, [Grant] inherited a Championship side," said Gold, who was forced to listen to Tuesday's events unfold on his car radio after being stuck in traffic.

The businessman, however, has made it clear the club expects more from the current players. "We have brought in some players and made some changes and that's beginning to gel and you saw that on Tuesday night," he added. "Avram will talk to us about January and we'll see where finds are available. He'll tell us where he believes we need to strengthen but you would say after last night's performance he has a good squad."

Jonathan Spector, who marked his first game since August with two goals against United – the first of his career – appears likely to stay at the club after Gold dismissed reports linking him with a move to Germany. Spector, who hopes to continue in Tuesday's unfamiliar midfield position, said: "I think we've got the right mentality – not that we didn't before, but finally it's come right for us."

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