Friday 28 April 2017

Tension eases on Grant after Christmas cracker

WEST HAM 2 WOLVES 0

DOUGH SMITH

Avram Grant reflected on a "very good Christmas" after West Ham finally dragged themselves out of the relegation zone at Upton Park yesterday.



Freddie Sears, a product of the West Ham academy and lifelong Hammers fan, secured three crucial points 10 minutes from time with a first goal since scoring on his debut in March 2008.

Grant's side had goalkeeper Robert Green to thank with a string of fine saves before they went ahead when Ronald Zubar scored an own goal at the start of the second half.

Sylvan Ebanks-Blake hit the woodwork as Wolves rallied before Sears then rammed home Tal Ben Haim's cross to haul the Hammers off the bottom and send Wolves there instead.

Grant had reportedly been given the hectic festive schedule to turn around his team's fortunes, or face the axe.

After a win at Fulham and then the 1-1 draw with Everton, the former Chelsea and Portsmouth manager can rest somewhat more easy.

"It has been a very good Christmas, a good week for us," the Israeli said.

"I felt before this run that we were very efficient, but you can imagine how the players feel -- they are very happy.

"Now we are getting the wins we deserve, including this one against Wolves, so we're very happy.

"It's much nicer to be out of the bottom three but we know we have a long way to go to do what we want to do -- but after what's happened in the last month this was nice."

For Wolves, the result was a major disappointment following their superb midweek victory at Liverpool.

Next up is a clash against champions Chelsea, before a trip to Manchester City followed by dates with Liverpool again, Manchester United and Arsenal in February.

However, with his side still only two points behind the 15th-placed Hammers, Wolves boss Mick McCarthy is not about to throw in the towel.

"We are two points from safety and as far as I am aware we are not getting relegated in the morning," he said.

"We are scrapping away and we played well enough today."

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