Belfast Telegraph

Grant calls for character

Avram Grant has told his West Ham players he will not tolerate any more excuses and that the time to start taking points was now.

The Hammers remain rooted to the foot of the Barclays Premier League and slipped four points adrift of safety after Saturday's 3-1 home defeat against Manchester City.

"The time has come to stop saying, 'We are playing well, but...'," said Grant, who vowed to set the right example for his players.

Manager Grant was at pains to point out his side were up against one of the current title contenders but knows they cannot say the same about their upcoming festive fixtures.

All four of West Ham's matches over the Christmas and New Year period come against sides in the bottom half of the table, starting with Saturday's trip to Blackburn.

"It is not a time that I like but if I am asking the team to be strong and show character then I have to be the first one to do that.

"I have to lead, be strong and show character."

The under-pressure Hammers boss added: "I believe in this team and this club.

"Of course, this is the time to take points - we are coming to the middle of the season.

"There is time to recover but we need to change things and get points. I am sure we will do it. It won't be easy, but we can do it."

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