WEST HAM manager Avram Grant believes his side will re-write the record books by becoming only the second team in Premier League history to beat relegation despite being bottom on Christmas Day.
Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Blackburn at Ewood Park ensured the Hammers will have the unwanted distinction of propping up the table next Saturday, two points behind Wolves and three points adrift of safety.
Grant (right), though, believes his team’s position is in no way irretrievable, and said: “We don’t want to leave this team alone. It’s time there will be one more team.”
Bryan Robson’s Baggies achieved the feat in the 2004/05 season despite only having 10 points at Christmas, three fewer than West Ham, but in the 17 other years of the Premier League, there has been no way back.
Grant added: “If it was two months to the end of the season with this difference of points, nobody would think we cannot do it. We can do it. As long as we show this spirit, I’m sure we can stay in the league.”
Grant also again denied he has been given an ultimatum by owners David Sullivan and David Gold, saying: “We speak only about how to make the team stronger in January. I have full support about this.
“They’re trying to do their best. They bought the team with big, big debt and it’s not easy but we need to do the best for the team.
“It’s very encouraging because we will have a long way until the end of the season. Our target is very clear, to stay in the league and more.”
NEXT FIVE | WEST HAM FIXTURES
Despite the doom mongering, the Hammers are just three points from safety and their next five Premier League games offer them a significant chance of changing the landscape – their next three opponents are all in the bottom six.
Dec 26 – Fulham (a)
Dec 28 – Everton (h)
Jan 1 – Wolves (h)
Jan 5 – Newcastle (a)
Jan 15 – Arsenal (h)