Only way is up for West Ham, insists Keane as he arrives at Upton Park

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The Independent Football

Robbie Keane maintains he has "nothing to lose" as the Republic of Ireland striker looks to fire West Ham out of the relegation zone – starting at Blackpool tonight.

Along with fellow January arrivals Wayne Bridge, Gary O'Neil and fellow forward Demba Ba, the 30-year-old is expected to be thrown straight into the action by Avram Grant as his men battle for Premier League survival.

The terms of Keane's move from Tottenham are complicated, initially on loan until the end of the season with a view to a £6m permanent deal for the next two-and-a-half years, as long as the Hammers maintain their top-flight status.

West Ham are Keane's eighth club since he made the breakthrough at Wolves, and last season he spent a loan spell with Celtic. The much-travelled front man is confident he can have an impact for his latest employers.

"It is something I am fairly used to now, coming to a new club," Keane said. "It is an opportunity for me, and I don't really have anything to lose. West Ham are bottom, all we can do is push up the table and I am here to hopefully do that to avoid relegation."

Grant believes Keane is just the character the Hammers need in their fight to avoid the drop. "I can only be myself, if other people can see me bringing something else to the dressing room, well, great," the striker said. "I am here to help the team, if that is off the pitch also with the character I am, then that is great. The spirit is fine here, there are good lads and top quality players."

Keane's move to east London brings to an end his second spell at Tottenham, having rejoined them from Liverpool two years ago.

The striker, though, is looking forward to a new challenge at Upton Park. "It was not a wrench to leave Spurs, because at the end of the day, I just want to play football," he said. "I have got friends there, but it means nothing if you are not playing football. It is a short career, you have to make the most of it. I want to play football and don't like to get paid for sitting on the bench.

"In respect, it is difficult to leave a club which you have a lot of association with, but I have to look after my career. I enjoy playing, I love playing. I want to keep doing that for as long as I can."