Hero captain Parker shrugs off pain


WEST HAM manager Avram Grant praised captain Scott Parker after a valuable victory which lifted them off the bottom of the Premier League table.

Parker (right), a major doubt with a damaged shoulder, produced an inspired display in midfield capped with a wonderfully inventive finish with the outside of his foot to put his side ahead.

“Scott is a special guy,” said Grant. “The spirit he showed was great. Three hours before we thought there was no way he would play. He couldn’t walk or move his arms. The medical department were sure he couldn’t play, but they did a good job and gave him 24 hours of treatment. He needed more than an injection.”

Parker opened the scoring midway through the first half and Demba Ba added a second before half-time when he headed in Gary O’Neil’s cross.

The hosts looked in complete control until Luis Suarez fizzed the ball in from the left and Glen Johnson side-footed home with six minutes remaining.

The visitors pressed for an equaliser but substitute Carlton Cole sealed the win with a stinging left foot drive into the bottom corner.

West Ham are now 18th in the table, level on points with 17th-placed Wolves.