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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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Gold: No malice in Rob Green's press box gesture

David Gold says there was "no malice" in Rob Green's gesture to the press box after he starred in West Ham's 1-0 win over Tottenham.

Gold, who co-owns the Hammers with David Sullivan, defended his goalkeeper after he made a string of impressive saves to help his side record their first Premier League win of the season, against their London rivals.

Green has been a target of criticism since his mistake handed USA a goal in the opening game of England's World Cup campaign and made an obvious gesture at the assembled media on Saturday afternoon. The Football Association has written to Green to remind him of his conduct in future matches but has imposed no fine.

"I have to say I don't think there was any malice in it whatsoever,'' Gold said. "I think he was just saying: 'Didn't I have a good game guys? Look, this is the real Robert Green. I'm back.'

"I think that was what happened and we ought to allow him to have that moment because that's all that it was. If the FA have written to him to explain that then fair enough, that's fine. Let's move on. He didn't kill anyone.''

Green has failed to add to his 11 England caps since his error in South Africa, but Gold thinks his performance at Upton Park will put the goalkeeper back in Fabio Capello's thoughts for next month's Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro.

"When that game was over I thought, wow, what a performance,'' Gold said. "He made some world class saves. In my mind, he is the England goalkeeper. He will have a bad day from time to time, goalkeepers do. Robert Green is an international goalkeeper, full stop. I would like to think he'd be back in contention for a place in the squad for the next England match.

"If I was the manager, I would pick him. He is a class act and he has a great character and a strong fibre within him. He's a great professional and I'd like to see him back in the England side on a regular basis.''

A striker shortage at Fulham means that Green could come face to face with Clint Dempsey on Saturday for the first time since the American struck the tame shot which he failed to handle in South Africa. Green's error has caused him to be the subject of heckling from opposition fans ever since his return from the World Cup, but Gold is confident that his goalkeeper will be able to handle the pressure upon him at Upton Park on Saturday.

"I have no doubt in my mind that he will deal with it with absolute consummate professionalism,'' Gold said. "It won't even enter his mind. He will prepare like he normally does and I'm sure he will give another outstanding performance when called upon.''

Fulham's poor away form in the league - they have failed to win on the road in 13 months - represents a golden opportunity for the Hammers to climb out of the relegation zone by stretching their unbeaten run to four matches.

Gold continued: "Last week's victory was a brilliant result. We were in a very tough position. It was against someone who got into the top four. It was a fabulous victory, particularly on the back of a draw against Stoke and a win over Sunderland.

"It has been a great week and we are feeling good about ourselves at the moment. We all know that if you get back-to-back wins in the Premier League then it has a fantastic impact on your position and morale. It lifts your fans and your players.''

Meanwhile, Scott Parker, Carlton Cole and Mark Noble are just a few of the West Ham players who will deliver the club's joint bid with Newham Council to run the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games to Number 10 Downing Street on Thursday.

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