Grant impressed by West Ham strikers

West Ham boss Avram Grant paid tribute to strikers Frederic Piquionne and Victor Obinna after seeing them dump Sunderland out of the Carling Cup.

The pair each claimed first goals for the club at the Stadium of Light as the Black Cats saw their hopes of a cup run go up in smoke.

Grant, who made seven changes to the side which drew at Stoke at the weekend, was rewarded with a performance which thoroughly warranted a first victory of the season over top-flight opposition.

He said of Piquionne and Obinna: "They worked very hard, they moved very well and they played well together - but all the team behind them played well.

"We passed the ball very well in the midfield so it was more easy for them to find space to score two fantastic goals.

"We want to play always with the same style, this is our target. If you saw our last games, except the first one against Aston Villa, we have been playing the same all the time.

"Always we progress and progress and today, it was the same game as against Chelsea, but with a result."

Black Cats boss Steve Bruce had hoped record signing Asamoah Gyan would dazzle on his first start for the club, but his 41st-minute goal proved one of few bright spots on the night.

His header from Jordan Henderson's corner cancelled out Piquionne's 35th-minute opener, but the Black Cats were unable to build on it.

Obinna's 59th-minute strike ultimately won the day, but had it not been for goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who had earlier saved from Obinna, Piquionne and Scott Parker and then kept out substitute Carlton Cole at the death, the margin of victory might have been greater.

Bruce, who fielded nine of the players who started Saturday's 1-1 draw with Arsenal, saw Gyan, Anton Ferdinand and Kieran Richardson all limp off with hamstring injuries.

He said: "That's the aftermath and that's always the worry - that's why people do change, and we will have to pick the pieces up of that.

"It looks as if we have three centre-backs missing - Ferdinand, [Michael] Turner and [John] Mensah - for the weekend.

"The goal will do Gyan the world of good. The idea was to get some fitness work into him, but that has backfired too if he has picked up a hamstring too.

"But we don't think he is as bad as Richardson and Ferdinand."

Bruce confirmed that the club are in talks with Leeds over a possible loan move to Elland Road for Northern Ireland international full-back George McCartney.

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