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Avram Grant needs a repeat performance

Avram Grant is hoping history repeats itself in more ways than one when West Ham face Stoke for a place in the Carling Cup quarter-finals tonight.

Grant pits his wits against Potters boss Tony Pulis in the fourth round of the competition for the second straight year after managing Portsmouth to a 4-0 victory over the Staffordshire side last season.

More importantly, relegation-haunted Pompey took the confidence from that win into their next Barclays Premier League game against Wigan, who they thrashed by the same scoreline.

“It would be very nice to repeat that,” said Grant, who is back under pressure at the rock-bottom Hammers after their five-match unbeaten run came to an end on Saturday.

“I remember the game well. It was three weeks after I arrived and it was a great game. After that, we also won a big game in the league and the football side improved.”

That pattern has continued somewhat at Grant's new club, with West Ham following up last month's Carling Cup third-round win at Sunderland with their first league victory of the season against Tottenham.

Grant added: “The Carling Cup is important. We won at Sunderland in the last round and this gave us a big lift forward for the league. We played well against a difficult team and then won against Tottenham. We want to do the same again.”

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