Avram Grant insists West Ham's Carling Cup victory over Stoke was not the turning point of their season - because that had already been reached.
The Hammers scored a late equaliser in Wednesday night's fourth-round tie at Upton Park before going on to win 3-1 in extra-time, giving themselves a shot in the arm for their miserable Barclays Premier League campaign.
"The turning point was a few weeks ago," said Grant, who was coming under mounting pressure with West Ham rooted to the foot of the Premier League. "Even Saturday (in the home defeat against Newcastle), we started the game like a top, top team, and then someone pushed the (self-destruct) button."
An FA Cup run while Grant was at Portsmouth last season helped galvanise his squad when the club was deducted nine points for going into administration. And the Israeli believes reaching the latter stages of the League Cup can have a similar effect at West Ham.
"I think yes," he said.
"Last year with Portsmouth, I'm sure that if we'd not had the problems, we'd easily have stayed in the league. I believe in this team, I believe in this squad. Of course, we cannot solve all the problems in one day but, step by step, I think we are going forward."
The Hammers were trailing 1-0 to Kenwyne Jones' early goal until the 84th minute on Wednesday night.
Grant's substitutions turned the game, with Victor Obinna, Mark Noble and Valon Behrami all making a huge impact. Captain Scott Parker got the equaliser but Noble set up the second and third goals, the last of which was scored by Obinna.
Stoke manager Tony Pulis said: "The two substitutions with Kenwyne and Jermaine (Pennant), who were under the weather a little bit, didn't help us,
"I thought Kenwyne was very good when he was on the pitch; he was a threat. But fair play to West Ham; you've got to give them credit. Obinna came on, young Noble, and they changed the game, really."
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