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Keane relishing West Ham opportunity


Robbie Keane. Photo: Getty Images

Robbie Keane. Photo: Getty Images

Robbie Keane. Photo: Getty Images

Robbie Keane maintains he has "nothing to lose" as the Republic of Ireland striker looks to fire West Ham out of the relegation zone - starting at Blackpool tomorrow night.

Along with fellow January arrivals Wayne Bridge, Gary O'Neil and fellow forward Demba Ba, the 30-year-old is expected to be thrown straight into the action by Avram Grant as his men battle for Barclays Premier League survival.

The terms of Keane's move from Tottenham are complicated, initially on loan until the end of the season with a view to making a £6million deal permanent for the next two-and-a-half years, as long as the Irons maintain their top-flight status.

West Ham are Keane's eighth club since he made the breakthrough at Wolves, and last season he spent a loan spell in Scotland with Celtic.

The much-travelled frontman, though, is confident he can have an impact for his latest employers.

"It is something I am fairly used to now, coming to a new club," Keane said.

"It is an opportunity for me, and I don't really have anything to lose.

"West Ham are bottom, all we can do is push up the table and I am here to hopefully do that to avoid relegation."

Grant believes Keane is just the character the Hammers need in their fight against relegation.

"I can only be myself, if other people can see me bringing something else to the dressing room, well great," the striker said.

"I am here to help the team, if that is off the pitch also with the character I am, then that is great.

"The spirit is fine here, there are good lads and top quality players."

Keane added: "Even before I can to West Ham, I thought they had the quality to stay up.

"Sometimes you find yourselves in situations where you are down there and it is very difficult to get out.

"It is important that sooner rather than later they get out of that situation they are in, and hopefully I can help them do it."

Keane's move across to east London brings to an end his second spell at Tottenham, having rejoined them from Liverpool two years ago.

The striker, though, is looking forward to a new challenge at Upton Park.

"It was not a wrench to leave Spurs, because at the end of the day, I just want to play football," he said.

"I have got friends there, but it means nothing if you are not playing football.

"It is a short career, you have to make the most of it.

"I want to play football and don't like to get paid for sitting on the bench.

"In respect, it is difficult to leave a club which you have a lot of association with, but I have to look after my career.

"I enjoy playing and love playing. I want to keep doing that for as much as I can."

On finding himself pushed down the striking order at White Hart Lane, Keane added: "That is the way football goes, Spurs have got a lot of top players.

"It is going to be difficult for the other players there, they have so many strikers who are top players."

Keane maintains his move to West Ham was not about keeping himself in contention for more international recognition.

"I have not really worried or thought about my position with the Ireland team," he said.

"It is all about now and I have said before if I didn't play for Ireland and someone else came in, I have always said I would walk away."

Grant, meanwhile, is a big fan of what Blackpool have achieved on their Premier League debut.

"For me, they are the team of the season and Ian Holloway is the manager of the season," the Irons boss said.

"They did miracles because everyone said they would quickly be on their way to the Championship again, and also I like how they play football."

Former Arsenal midfielder Edu had been training with the Hammers, but the free agent Brazilian will not be offered a deal, as the club now have a full 25-man quota.

Grant confirmed: "He asked for training and is a very good player, but at the moment it is a position we do not need."

PA Media