Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Grant keen to shift focus

Avram Grant

Avram Grant is determined to put a turbulent week behind him despite continued doubt over his position as West Ham manager.

Grant appeared to be on his way out of Upton Park following Saturday's 3-0 defeat by Arsenal amid speculation he was set to be replaced by Martin O'Neill. Earlier this week the Hammers released a statement saying Grant retains their full support, though reports suggested that came after O'Neill had turned down the job.

"What's happened has happened off the pitch and for me it belongs in the past," said Grant.

The club's conduct has generated considerable sympathy for Grant, but the Israeli has refused to discuss his personal situation ahead of their Barclays Premier League clash with Everton.

Grant continued: "What's important for West Ham, the fans and everybody is to concern ourselves with what happens on the pitch.

"We have problems that we need to deal with and not discuss the past. I need to do my job in football and not think about other problems. My personal issue is not the problem. It's my problem, it's not the problem of everyone. It's not important to talk about what Avram feels or doesn't feel.

"I feel that I need to do my job and that I'm the manager here. We need to take points because I believe we can get out of relegation. My personal matter is not important. The team is more important than anybody."

Grant threw his lucky scarf into the Upton Park crowd after the mauling by Arsenal, but he denied it was a poignant moment from a man who was thought to have overseen his final game in charge.

"I treat every game like it's my last game because this is football," he said. "I threw the scarf and I have to say the support from the fans at the end was very touching.

"This is still a very good club and we'll do everything to keep it like this."

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