Grant threatens to turn nasty

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Avram Grant warned West Ham may have to resort to intimidation tactics against referees in order to escape the relegation zone because he fears they are paying the price for being too nice.

The Hammers have been on the wrong end of a string of bad decisions so far this season, the most recent being a disallowed Frederic Piquionne goal that cost them victory at Wolves last weekend. Grant is convinced that teams who are "aggressive" towards referees and match officials actually end up earning an advantage.

"Everybody needs to be aware that teams who don't behave sportingly and always go to the referee have an advantage over teams that behave nicely," Grant said ahead of Saturday's clash with Newcastle. "Last week it cost us two points and because there are so many decisions against us I start to think that because we are nice the other team has an advantage."

He added: "I don't want to think it is because my players behave well and they don't jump on the referees and we on the bench are very sporting - but it is affecting us.

"It is not in my way to say 'Scott Parker, next time slide-tackle the referee' - but I will think about this if I see it continue.

"I still believe if we continue to play the football we have played in the last weeks we will have enough points not to these things.

"If it happens again in the next game, I think we need to think about this. I don't have a solution at the moment."

West Ham may be bottom of a congested Premier League table but they are unbeaten in five games and can climb above Newcastle and out of the relegation zone with a victory at Upton Park.

"It can be a big week. It is a good challenge for us and we want to continue what we did last week and take points," said Grant.

"Newcastle are a good team and having a good season. If we win against them we know what will happen."

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Frederic Piquionne
Scott Parker
Premier League
Newcastle United
West Ham United
Wolverhampton Wanderers

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