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Grant: Keane 'character' can save us from drop

Manager Avram Grant believes Robbie Keane can be the catalyst which saves West Ham from relegation.

Keane watched West Ham at Upton Park yesterday as they defeated Nottingham Forest 3-2 to go through to the fifth round of the FA Cup where they face another home tie against Championship opposition in the shape of Burnley.

And while Victor Obinna scored a hat-trick for the Hammers it was the capture of Keane, on an initial loan from Tottenham until the end of the season, which excited Grant.

Grant said: "He (Keane) is not just a good player, he is a good character that we need in the next 14 games."

The deal with Tottenham is complicated and depends on West Ham escaping relegation but if they do so the loan would become permanent with a contract for two and a half years and a fee of around £6m.

West Ham co-owner David Gold said: "We're delighted to sign a world-class striker. Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy drives a hard bargain, but we've got our man."

Grant insisted he also intends to add another signing before tonight's 11.0pm deadline.


Obinna scored two goals in the first half against Forest and completed his hat-trick with a penalty in the second after Joel Lynch had brought down Winston Reid, but Grant would prefer to see such firepower in the Premier League.

Grant said: "He (Obinna) is a good talent. He will get better and better.

"He scored three goals but we need him to be efficient in league games. That is the most important thing."

Dele Adebola and Dave McGoldrick scored the goals for the Forest side.

Forest boss Billy Davies was generous in his praise of the Hammers.

Davies, who has hopes of top-flight football with Forest next season, said: "Irrespective of their league position they have got some great players here, real talent. We have got to realise that is what we are facing."