Grant plays down talk of West Ham crisis

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The Independent Football

Having managed Portsmouth last season, Avram Grant is no stranger to desperate situations.

His stoic acceptance of the difficulty of the task makes him the perfect choice to be manager of West Ham United at the moment who, with two defeats out of two, and six goals conceded, have made their worst-ever start to a Premier League campaign. To cap it off, they face a trip to Manchester United today, before hosting Double-winners Chelsea in a fortnight's time.

His side travel to Old Trafford having failed to win away from home in the league since the opening game of last season, a run of 19 winless games on the road. Yet Grant remains optimistic.

"I always tell my players to be positive. You cannot go with a negative attitude. Manchester United are a better team than West Ham but it's not always the better team that wins. We need to do a few things to make life not easy for them," he said.

"People like football because sometimes there are results they didn't think about. We need to go with this attitude because we go to play football. How can you go to into a football match with negative thoughts?"

West Ham yesterday signed Nigerian striker Victor Obinna on a season-long loan from Internazionale, taking the new arrivals at the club to six.

Grant accepts he has to make the new-look team gel quickly as, with Stoke City away and Tottenham Hotspur at home to come, there is a danger West Ham could enter October without a single point from six games.

Grant said: "I think we started last week against Bolton and in every game we'll see progress. I cannot tell you when (they will gel) because I always want we get better. Check every month."