Friday, August 18, 2017

Grant upbeat despite loss

SoccerNews in FA Cup 9 Apr 2011

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West Ham boss Avram Grant was in bullish mood when asked about his side’s survival hopes after Saturday’s 3-0 loss at Bolton.

A brace from Daniel Sturridge and another from Chung-Yong Lee were enough to leave West Ham third from the bottom and a point away from safety on the English Premier League table, but Grant played up his side’s hopes of staying in the top flight next season.

“I believe that we will stay in the league,” the Israeli said. “I believe because it?s not what you saw in the first half today.”

“That?s not something that you see every day in our team that was something exceptional.”

“We will show that we can play, we will show also that we can recover and respond to a situation like this, this season and we need to do it in the next six games.”

Grant also paid tribute to Bolton, who he said could play carefree football with their Premier League status not in jeopardy.

“Bolton are not in the relegation zone and they?re not at the top, so they play with freedom and they were trying to play football with a lot of good players and they had nothing to lose,” Grant said.

“We wanted to play different but it was one of those days where everything is going against us.”

“I think even if it?s not looking like it on the pitch sometimes, there is a lot of commitment, they showed it.”

Bolton boss Owen Coyle hailed what he referred to as one of the biggest wins of the season, and said he was looking forward to a productive week on the training pitch ahead of next Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final showdown with Stoke at Wembley.

“It was a great team performance,” Coyle said. “It was obviously important that we got the three points that we were after, but the performance was also exceptionally pleasing.”

“There was also some terrific individual performances and we were backed by an unbelievable crowd all afternoon who were fantastic from start to finish.”

“Every time Daniel Sturridge picked up the ball he lit up the place and Chung-Yong Lee on the right was brilliant all afternoon.”

“But our strength will always be a group and what we bring to the game as a collective unit. We played some slick football and scored some wonderful goals and all in all I thought it was a real free-flowing football game.”

“We now go away ready for a week’s training ahead of what we know will be an exceptionally tough game against a very good Stoke City side.”

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