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50-50: Liverpool vs. Real Madrid

Champions League 11 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Feb 7, 2011

Reid: Grant is the man to save Hammers

Winston Reid insists the whole West Ham squad believe that Avram Grant is the right man to lead the club off the foot of the table despite Sunday's defeat against relegation rivals Birmingham.

West Ham had looked to be on the up after a midweek win at Blackpool, but their hopes of jumping out of the relegation zone were smashed by Alex McLeish's team at Upton Park thanks to Nikola Zigic's second-half winner.

The towering Serbian took advantage of some sloppy defending by West Ham's makeshift defence to nod home Sebastian Larsson's free-kick and round off a disappointing day for the lacklustre Hammers.

Grant's position came under serious scrutiny last month but the Israeli clung on to his post despite rumours that the Hammers had lined up Martin O'Neill to succeed him.

He will be under more pressure if his team lose at West Brom next week but Reid insists that everyone at the club still has faith in the manager and has urged his team-mates to bounce back from yesterday's disappointment with a victory at the Hawthorns.

"Of course we're behind the manager. Everyone is behind him," the defender said. "The loss was hard to take because we wanted to win this game and move out of the bottom three but we will have to work hard on the training pitch and make sure that we come back next time.

"We have to start winning games and we have to have confidence that we can go to West Brom and get points."

Reid has had limited first-team opportunities so far this season but he may start next week after West Ham's defensive injury crisis deepened yesterday.

Matthew Upson had to be withdrawn at half-time with a recurrence of his Achilles injury and James Tomkins pulled out of the game in the warm-up after injuring his calf.

Robbie Keane also picked up a calf injury and will be checked by the club's medical staff today.

Grant admitted that yesterday's injuries had not helped, but is confident that he can pick his team up again and win at West Brom.

"We need to think about the next game now. We need to look at the positive things that have happened in the last few weeks and look forward," said the former Chelsea boss.

"The situation is not easy. Also it is not easy to lose players in the warm-up and after 35 minutes like Upson. But we need to deal with this and take points. "If you look at what we've done this season you'll know that after every disappointment we've recovered very well. This is part of the thing we are working on and I hope it will prove to be the case again."

One crumb of comfort for Grant is the possibility that Thomas Hitzlsperger could make his comeback from a long-term thigh injury in a reserve-team game this week.

The Germany midfielder, who signed on a free transfer from Lazio last summer, is yet to play for the Hammers after picking up the injury in October.

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