Grant pleads for West Ham patience

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The Independent Football

Avram Grant is hoping West Ham owners David Gold and David Sullivan will be patient with him after a 2-1 home defeat to Newcastle which kept them bottom of the Barclays Premier League.

The Hammers went into the match unbeaten in five games and led through a Carlton Cole goal before the visitors hit back through Kevin Nolan and Andy Carroll.

Gianfranco Zola was dismissed despite keeping West Ham up last season but Grant believes the owners are aware of how much work needs to be done.

"I am being told that they are being patient and understanding," said the 55-year-old.

"We knew that this season would be tough. We don't want to be in this situation.

"We didn't play well in the second half and we paid for this."

Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti was not too enamoured with the performance which earned his league-leading side a 2-0 win over Wolves at Stamford Bridge, but his opposite number Mick McCarthy was in no doubt about the quality of the opposition his team had just faced.

"Chelsea are the best team in the league in my opinion. They have got loads of ability and pace and one of the best goalkeepers in the league," McCarthy said.

"They are physically tough and clever. They trust people with the ball and they are a fantastic team. We should have scored against them but we didn't."

Florent Malouda and Salomon Kalou scored for the Blues, who welcomed back full-back Jose Bosingwa after 13 months on the sidelines.

Tottenham ended a tough week with a 1-1 draw at home to Everton, whose four-match unbeaten run has already taken them up into mid-table.

Spurs lost 4-3 against Inter Milan in midweek, with Gareth Bale scoring a second-half hat-trick for the Londoners, but he was kept in check on Saturday lunchtime by the excellent Phil Neville.

Everton boss David Moyes said: "I don't know if it's a dying breed but he's a great leader.

"The team seems to function much better with him it.

"He might get to the stage where he might not be the best player but, certainly, the team needs his leadership qualities."

Newly-promoted West Brom are level on 15 points with Spurs after their impressive start to the season continued with a 2-1 win over Fulham at the Hawthorns.

The Baggies recovered from a goal down to lead by half-time with goals from Youssouf Mulumbu and Marc-Antoine Fortune.

The goal by Fortune infuriated Cottagers boss Mark Hughes, who was mystified as to how the Frenchman could be deemed inactive at one stage of the move before going on to score.

"You are talking about an area of maybe 10 yards by 10 yards and apparently he is not active in the first instance, but is in the second instance," Hughes said.

"I think we are all aware of the ambiguity of the law and areas that surround it.

"I just think it gives referees and officials an opportunity to hide behind something with decisions that they get wrong.

"That has to change, but whether it will, I don't know."

The eighth own goal of Richard Dunne's Premier League career enabled Sunderland to claim a much-needed three points at home to Aston Villa having drawn six of their previous eight league games.

Relieved Black Cats boss Steve Bruce said: "Seven games unbeaten in the Premier League takes some doing, no matter who you play against, so there is a bit of resilience.

"We have got a really good look about us, so I am pleased.

"There's a resilience about us, which was the first thing I wanted to try to address when we came here."

Birmingham claimed their first league win since August by beating Blackpool 2-0 at St Andrew's as goals from Liam Ridgewell and Nikola Zigic did the damage to the Seasiders.

Blues boss Alex McLeish said: "Goals give strikers confidence and this will have been another big boost for the big fellow (Zigic).

"He has taken time to adjust to the English style of play but we are now starting to see some sharpness from everyone in the front areas - including Nikola."

Bolton boss Owen Coyle was angry that Hugo Rodallega's goal, which put his side behind at Wigan, was allowed to stand but praised his side for the way they fought back as Johan Elmander levelled seven minutes later.

"We went behind to a goal that was clearly two yards offside," he said.

"I felt that in real time, I've seen it again and when (Franco) Di Santo picks the ball up he's two yards offside. He's not even close.

"It would have been easy at that stage to feel sorry for ourselves having put so much into the game in the early part but this group of players, the spirit they have and the belief that they have, picked themselves up and really pushed on."