Hammers on right track - Grant

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Stoke: Sorensen, Wilson, Shawcross, Huth, Higginbotham, Pennant, Delap, Whelan, Etherington, Walters, Jones.

Subs: Nash, Collins, Fuller, Pugh, Diao, Whitehead, Wilkinson.

West Ham: Green, da Costa, Tomkins, Upson, Bridge, Noble, Parker, Hitzlsperger, Piquionne, Cole, Obinna.

Subs: Boffin, Gabbidon, Boa Morte, Spector, Hines, Keane, Jacobsen.

Avram Grant hopes West Ham's recent training camp in Portugal will have given his squad the boost they need to maintain their bid to stay in the Barclays Premier League and earn the club their first Wembley appearance in 30 years.

The Hammers are currently enjoying their best run of the season having posted three successive wins and are now only in the relegation zone on goal difference. Their reward for last week's 3-0 thrashing of Stoke was a four-day trip to the Vale do Lobo in the Algarve, where they worked on their fitness ahead of Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final against the Potters.

"The players were very happy to be together, for the training and for everything else. The most important was that they were there as a team in Portugal," Grant said.

"They went fishing, they did golf. It's always good to be together even if it is only for a few days.

"The atmosphere is better now. The training today was a lot of happiness. Also we know that there are some tough games to come but we are on our way."

Should West Ham beat Stoke at the Britannia Stadium, they will make the semi-final of the FA Cup and book their first appearance at Wembley since they lost the League Cup final to Liverpool in 1981.

Having picked up three wins in their last three matches, the squad will be confident of making the last four.

Carlton Cole has been key to the club's recent renaissance, scoring five goals in his last six and Grant believes the striker is benefiting from the added competition up front with the signings of Demba Ba and Robbie Keane.

He said: "Competition makes you stronger. Look at Carlton Cole before the competition and look at him now. He has scored a lot of goals in the last month which is very good so it will do good for us and the other players and I believe in this.

"All the strikers are better since January, it seems. Freddie (Sears) is doing well and Victor Obinna is so I think the competition has been good for us."

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

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Stoke City
West Ham United
FA Cup

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