Grant: all is well – apart from our league position

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The Independent Football

Sage advice from Avram Grant to West Ham fans: "Don't look at the league table."

He could have suggested they turn it upside down instead, but merely added: "We are not happy with the league table, but if you analyse the games and performances of the players we are very optimistic."

Bottom of the table and without a win in six, this was supposed to be the fate of Blackpool, today's visitors to Upton Park. Instead Ian Holloway's team sit six points clear of West Ham and arrive with a refreshed squad after "resting" the first XI in midweek.

"It is a strange situation," said Grant. "If you analyse our games the spirit is good and the mentality is good. The football that we play is good and in each the last two games we scored two goals." Unfortunately West Ham also conceded twice against Birmingham and West Bromwich, meaning they need five points from today and next week's trip to Anfield to meet the points target set for this quartet of matches by co-owner David Sullivan.

"It doesn't matter if this was said or not, we are doing everything we can to take points," said Grant. "If we continue to do the right things, I'm sure we will pick up points."

Blackpool's second string only lost to a late goal at Villa Park, giving Holloway a "fantastic problem". The manager added: "Some have played themselves into my team, and that's what I wanted them to do. They deserve to play. If that was my kids wanting an ice-cream, I'd have bought them an ice-cream long ago because their behaviour's been absolutely exceptional. But my other kids were doing so well I didn't want to change it."

Of today's opposition Holloway said: "I think their team's in a false position. They've got some magnificent players." That judgement does not reflect well on Grant who is 7-4 to be the next Premier League sacking.

There was some good news for West Ham, though, when their joint bid with Newham council was identified as one of two contenders to take over the Olympic Stadium. The other is the Tottenham Hotspur-AEG consortium.