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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Feb 4, 2011

Grant: Hammers can see the light

Avram Grant insists the January transfer window has allowed West Ham to "see the light'' in their bid to stay in the Premier League.

The Hammers take on Birmingham at Upton Park on Sunday, when they can take revenge over Alex McLeish's side who knocked them out of the Carling Cup last month in a hard-fought semi-final. More importantly, a victory would see West Ham leapfrog Birmingham and jump out of the relegation zone.

Grant has warned his side, bolstered by January signings Gary O'Neil, Demba Ba, Wayne Bridge and especially Robbie Keane, that now is the time to step up the battle.

Grant said: "We see the light now, but we need to fight for it. The important thing about this team is the development. We are learning from our mistakes. The football we are playing is better.''

Grant admits the acquisition of the experienced Keane from Tottenham, who scored on his debut against Blackpool in midweek and is on loan until the end of the season, could be the key to survival.

Grant said: "Robbie Keane is a very good player and a good character and is good for our style of play. I'm sure he will do what we need him to. He will have a good impact. He has a lot of knowledge about football and his style suits the way our team plays. I was pleased to see him play so well.''

It was Keane's partnership with Nigerian striker Victor Obinna, on loan from Inter Milan, which was particularly impressive in the 3-1 win at Bloomfield Road.

Obinna has scored five goals in his last two matches and Grant said: "It is not easy to come to English football and have an impact immediately, but he did well for us and he is improving. His decisions are better and he is getting used to English football very quickly. He has a lot of quality but in English football your decisions need to be quicker than in other countries.

"The game is high intensity and this is the reason that some players in their first year in England are not as good as they can be. For him it has been quicker than I thought.''

Grant denies he wants revenge against Birmingham, who are outside the relegation zone only on goal difference. Instead he wants to continue West Ham's run of form against the sides in relegation trouble.

Grant said: "We have taken points from all the teams around us, from Wigan and Fulham and Wolves and Everton and the last game against Blackpool. We want to continue with this. Birmingham won the League Cup game and we wish them well in the final. But our target is clear, we don't want to be in the relegation zone. It's a good opportunity for us.

"In the last few weeks our game is better and we are taking points. In this league everybody is taking points from everybody, there are no easy games.''

Grant believes it will take at least 38 points to survive in the Premier League this time, three more than last season, and expects a frantic scramble until the last weekend.

Asked whether the thought was keeping him awake at night, he replied: "It will be five or six teams involved. Do you see a manager who can sleep easy? I am sleeping good but not easy."

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