Avoiding low would be career high for Grant

Updated: 14 May 2011 09:11 IST

West Ham manager Avram Grant has admitted staying in the Premier League will make him the happiest he has been in his career as he prepares for a do-or-die encounter with Wigan.

Avoiding low would be career high for Grant

London:

West Ham manager Avram Grant has admitted staying in the Premier League will make him the happiest he has been in his career as he prepares for a do-or-die encounter with Wigan.


Grant's men are relying on Sunderland to beat Wolves on Saturday for them to retain any hope of avoiding relegation by beating the Latics on Sunday.

But he claims if they do go on to beat the drop, it will surpass anything he has achieved as manager, including getting to the Champions League final with Chelsea, the FA Cup final with Portsmouth or the seven trophies he won while in Israel.

"For me the most important thing now, what will make me happy more than any time in my professional life is if we stay in the league," Grant said.

"That's how it looks to me now. I have had a lot of happy days in football, including in England."

"At my last two clubs, in the last games at Portsmouth and Chelsea, the supporters came to these games so happy and for me it was so good."

"I want the supporters of West Ham to feel this way at the end of the season. I would like that very much."

Grant admits he has been hampered by injuries in the run-in, most notably to the English Football Writers Association Footballer of the Year Scott Parker.

Parker is a doubt for the Wigan game as he struggles to get over his Achilles injury, but Grant is remaining positive, despite winning just one point from the last nine on offer.

"When you respond from something like last week it is some kind of energy. I didn't want them to to be happy at the beginning of this week."

"But at the end I wanted them to take some positive things - we need to do our job. I can't imagine not doing our job and hoping results go for us."

Grant has spent all but four of the last 70 weeks at the bottom of the league, including his spell at Portsmouth last season which also ended in relegation.

But he defended his record in England, saying: "I don't like to think about myself but in the other teams I did what nobody expected me to do - not at Portsmouth or at Chelsea."

"Here they expect me to stay in the league and I want to do that."

His opposite number at Wigan, Roberto Martinez, is similarly upbeat about his side's hopes of avoiding relegation.

He has a full strength squad at his disposal - unlike West Ham who also have doubts over Matthew Upson as well as the absence of midfielder Mark Noble.

"This is a key moment in our history, a big game. But we are confident and well aware of what we are fighting for," Martinez said.

"From the outside these are two massive games but unfortunately we have been in this position the whole season."

"In every game we go into we have had a real need to perform and get points because of the position we have in the table."

"We have been playing catch-up for the whole of the season. This is an opportunity to get the rewards for all our hard work. These are two cup finals for us and we have to get the points."



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