West Ham boss Avram Grant has urged his team to throw everything they have at Manchester United on Saturday evening because "anything can happen" in football.
West Ham started the season by conceding six goals in successive defeats to Aston Villa and Bolton before scraping past Oxford in the Carling Cup. With their next four fixtures against United, Chelsea, Stoke away and Tottenham, West Ham could quite conceivably enter October without a single point to their name.
But Grant is convinced West Ham are ready to rise to the challenge and said: "At the moment they are the best players in England. Manchester United are a better team than West Ham - but I believe in football anything can happen."
He added: "Manchester United will not have an easy life tomorrow (Saturday) night," he vowed.
"They are a good team and they have top players. Not only Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez but also Dimitar Berbatov and Paul Scholes, who I think becomes younger every year.
"The better team does not always win. We need to do a few things to make their lives difficult. One thing I don't want is for us to give up before the game, nor in the game. I always say to my players to be positive.
"It is a big challenge. If you don't take a hard situation as a challenge you cannot succeed, not in sport, not in life."
West Ham will need to make a significant improvement even to make life difficult for Manchester United. They were thumped 3-0 by Aston Villa before losing 3-1 at home to Bolton.
But Grant believes West Ham lost despite being the better team against the Trotters - and that reinforces his point that Manchester United are not invincible.
Grant said: "I see the players in training every day and I'm confident we can do something. We didn't play well in the first game but in the second game we played good football. We deserved to win - but there is no 'deserve' in football. Manchester United are a good team, yes, but football is football."
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