West Ham United Vs Chelsea, Sat 11 Sep 2010

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Avram Grant has demanded patience from West Ham fans as he faces up to the daunting task of halting his team's poor start by registering an unlikely win against his former club Chelsea.

The East London outfit have endured their worst start to a league campaign in 33 years after losing all three of their opening matches against Aston Villa, Bolton and Manchester United.

West Ham chairmen David Gold and David Sullivan appointed Grant in the hope that he would be able to bring success and stability to a club that only just managed to avoid relegation to the npower Championship under Gianfranco Zola last term.

Despite a host of summer signings, former Portsmouth boss Grant has failed to turn around the fortunes of the team, however, which has led to questions regarding his future at Upton Park.

Defeat against the Barclays Premier League champions would give Grant the unwanted tag of having guided the Hammers through their worst start to a season in the club's history, but he is not a worried man.

"In football you always need patience," the Israeli said.

"I am a long-term person and if you see my clubs before - even at Portsmouth and Chelsea, you see developing teams, they develop every match and you will also see the same here.

"We need not to think about one week or two weeks but longer.

"The most important thing about the table is the end of the season, not now," he added.

"The teams that are in the second or fourth place in the league will not be there and I can guarantee that some teams that are at the bottom of the league will not be there at the end and I'm sure we will be one of them."

Reports that Grant had been given a three-match ultimatum were denied by the club this week but rumours about the manager's future will continue to persist if West Ham fail to win any of their tricky upcoming fixtures against Chelsea, Stoke and Tottenham.

Grant rubbished suggestions he was under pressure and insisted he was still enjoying life at the club.

"I'm enjoying the challenge here," said Grant.

"I am enjoying it because it is a big challenge a good club and our vision is good and if we do the things we want to do here over the next few years then West Ham will be a good team."

Grant could hand debuts to striker Victor Obinna and right-back Lars Jacobsen.

Robert Green has recovered from hip surgery and is expected to start in goal but there are doubts over Thomas Hitzlsperger and Danny Gabbidon who are struggling with thigh and hamstring injuries respectively.

Valon Behrami is likely to make his first appearance of the season after overcoming a thigh injury while long-term absentees Zavon Hines, Jack Collison and Peter Kurucz (all knee) remain sidelined.

Meanwhile, Chelsea coach Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that England midfielder Frank Lampard will miss the match after failing to recover from hernia surgery in time.

Lampard's absence is softened by the return of captain John Terry, who like Lampard, missed England's Euro 2012 qualifying victories over Bulgaria and Switzerland.

Terry has managed to recover from the hamstring problem that forced him to pull out of the England squad.

"John is available to play," said Ancelotti. "Lampard needs to have more time to rest. He trained with us this week and has done very well, but he needs to have more time. Maybe he'll be involved in the Champions League next week but not on Saturday.

"I think these players needed to have a rest because they had problems.

"Terry resolved this problem during the two weeks. Lampard had to have the surgery. He did very well because, in seven days, he was able to train again. But obviously we want to give him more time to recover 100%."

Young France international Gael Kakuta is included in the squad and new signing Ramires could be given his first start since joining from Benfica. Full-back Jose Bosingwa is still sidelined with a knee injury.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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