West Ham publicly back Avram Grant

West Ham say they are committed to retaining manager Avram Grant after weeks of speculation over his future at Upton Park.

The Israeli appeared on the brink of the sack, with reports at the weekend linking Martin O'Neill with the post.

However, the club issued a statement this morning insisting they were standing by Grant, despite the club sitting bottom of the Barclays Premier League with just four wins from their first 20 matches.

A statement posted on www.whufc.com read: "The club are committed to retaining Avram Grant as manager and have identified potential transfer targets to give us the best possible chance of retaining Premier League status."

The 55-year-old Grant is due to take training at the club's training ground in Essex this morning.

Today's statement should appease supporters to a certain extent after they urged the Hammers board to either back or sack Grant, with former West Ham captain Julian Dicks warning the club earlier this week that they were in danger of turning into a "laughing stock" by not providing clarity over Grant's position.

Dicks said: "All I know is what I have seen in the newspapers and on the television - I heard one minute that Avram was leaving, then the next I hear it's Martin O'Neill who's coming in, and then he isn't. We're becoming a laughing stock really.

"They (Gold and Sullivan) have the best interests of the club and the supporters at heart, I'm sure, but they need to come out and end all this speculation and say 'we support you' or they should sack him.

"They need to get this sorted out so everyone can start concentrating on the football again."

Reports emerged in the last 24 hours that O'Neill had ruled himself out of the running to succeed Grant.

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