Monday 16 October 2017

Grant closes the door on Parker exit

Frank Malley

West Ham manager Avram Grant insists there is no way he would allow Scott Parker to leave the relegation-threatened club in the January transfer window. Grant admits the rock-bottom Hammers are likely to be busy in the transfer market as he fights to save his job and West Ham attempt to claw their way to Premier League safety.

But while he is looking to bring in several reinforcements, Parker, who has been linked with a possible move to Tottenham, will be going nowhere. Grant admitted West Ham are close to completing a deal with Aston Villa for midfielder Steve Sidwell, but when asked if Parker could be leaving, he said: "No chance.

"Scott Parker is more than a good player for this football club. Even though we are at the bottom, we are trying to do the right things for this club. We know all the teams that succeeded did not have it so easy at the start.

"He is one of the foundations of this club. The owners have made it very clear that they want Scott Parker here and want good players here. We don't have many like Scott Parker and it would not be good for us if he left the club and I don't think it would be good for him. He knows what the vision of the club is and he is part of it."

Grant refused to confirm reports that the club were interested in Manchester City full-back Wayne Bridge and striker Shaun Wright-Phillips, plus Tottenham's Robbie Keane and Jonathan Woodgate.

"It is not a secret that we have a lot of injuries and that we need to make the squad stronger and that is what we will try to do in January. A lot of players have been linked with us."

Grant could get a boost for the lunchtime kick-off at Fulham today with goalkeeper Robert Green poised to return after recovering from a minor hip operation. Victor Obinna could also be back, although he only trained lightly at Upton Park. Luis Boa-Morte is out suspended.

But he shrugged off the pressure which sees West Ham face a Fulham side, just one spot outside the relegation zone, without a win in their last 27 away league matches.

"We want to play like we did last week when we were better than Blackburn and we want to take points because we need them. I think Mark Hughes (Fulham manager) is under pressure, but Wolves are under pressure, Wigan are under pressure, Blackburn are under pressure and at the top the six teams are under pressure.

"This is the name of the game. We are under pressure to take points because we are at the bottom. We don't deserve to be at the bottom, having analysed our games, but there are no points awarded for 'deserve'."

Grant is well aware of the statistic that only one club bottom of the Premier League at Christmas has survived -- West Brom in 2005 -- and he has already tasted the relegation experience with Portsmouth last year.

"I had a big challenge last year at a team without owners and I had big challenges before. For me, what has happened in the past is good and tradition is good but things happen that didn't happen in the past. Nobody thought a guy could run a mile in under four minutes because nobody had done it before, so there are a lot of things that nobody has done before, but we want to do it and we can do it."

Fulham v West Ham Utd,

Sky Sports 1, 12.0

Sunday Indo Sport

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