Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Grant defiant after defeat

Avram Grant
Avram Grant

Avram Grant insisted he was "very happy" with West Ham's performance despite seeing them crash to a 3-1 defeat at home to bogey team Bolton.

The Hammers, beaten 3-0 at Aston Villa last week, now head into Barclays Premier League fixtures against Manchester United and Chelsea rooted in the bottom three without a single point.

"We have a very tough two games. If you saw the spirit after the game last week, this team this season is not going to give up," said Grant.

"I am happy how players responded. The defence was good, we pushed forward, we played high, we created a lot of chances.

"On the football side everything went well. We played like a team at the top. I am very happy with the performance, I am very disappointed with the result. It was a strange game."

Bolton weathered a first-half storm - including a missed penalty from Hammers striker Carlton Cole - before snatching the lead with a Matthew Upson own goal.

Johan Elmander wrapped up the points with strikes either side of a Mark Noble penalty as Bolton extended their winning run over West Ham to seven matches.

Bolton manager Owen Coyle conceded that on another day West Ham could have been in charge at half-time.

"We were in charge for the first 10-15 minutes but after that West Ham really got at us. Jussi Jaaskelainen had to be in top form which he was, he made some terrific saves," said Coyle.

"We had to get them in at half-time to regroup, we had one or two things to say. In the second half we really showed our quality. We scored two very good goals. It was hard work - it was a terrific game end to end - and I am delighted with the three points."

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