Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Grant focused on taking West Ham to final

Defiant West Ham manager Avram Grant insists his only concern is guiding the Hammers into the Carling Cup final tonight.

A recent upturn in fortunes on the pitch was marred by the 5-0 defeat at Newcastle, while Grant continues to find his own position making the headlines.

And while he was unimpressed that director Karren Brady revealed in her newspaper column why the club had pulled the plug on signing Steve Sidwell, the Israeli is not about to be distracted by reports of off-field issues at Upton Park.

“I have answered this a thousand times,” Grant said when the subject was again the first question at yesterday's press conference ahead of the semi-final with Birmingham.

“We are here because of the semi-final, it has been 30 years since West Ham were at Wembley and this is a big game for us. That is what is important for me now.

“I am dealing with the problems on the pitch and we have done that well.

“The results in the last few weeks show we are doing well, they can always be better, but we have been doing well. That is what we are concerned about.

“My position is very clear. I am the manager and need to do the best for the club.”

Grant also rebuffed suggestions his future was set to be decided at a board meeting later this week.

“I have nothing to say about this because nobody has said anything to me about this,” he added.

“I don't need to answer about things which are in the paper. We have a game tomorrow and that is what is important to me. If there is any personal issue, I speak to the person. I don't have to deal with it in the media.”

However, Grant is well aware the semi-final has extra significance for West Ham owners David Gold and David Sullivan, who used to own Birmingham.

“It is very important to them,” he said. “When you leave a club, you have some emotions, but you want a good result against them.

“It is important for everybody here, and also for Birmingham, it is a big, big tie. We want to be at Wembley, but it will be difficult.”

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