Grant aiming to eclipse Baggies

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Football News

Avram Grant is determined that by May 2011 West Brom will no longer have the claim to fame of being the only Premier League team to have been bottom at Christmas and escaped relegation.

Sunday's 1-1 draw with Blackburn at Ewood Park ensured the Hammers will have the unwanted distinction of propping up the table next Saturday, two points behind Wolves and three points adrift of safety.

Grant, though, believes his team's position is in no way irretrievable, and said: "We don't want to leave this team alone. It's time there will be one more team."

Bryan Robson's Baggies achieved the feat in the 2004/05 season despite only having 10 points at Christmas, three fewer than West Ham, but in the 17 other years of the Premier League, there has been no way back.

He added: "If it was two months to the end of the season with this difference of points, nobody would think we cannot do it. We can do it. As long as we show this spirit, I'm sure we can stay in the league."

The Hammers are yet to win away this season but they were entitled to feel a touch unfortunate yesterday. A scrappy opener from Ryan Nelsen gave Rovers the lead but the visitors responded well and probably deserved more than Junior Stanislas' well-taken leveller.

It was at least something to take away from snowy Lancashire for Grant at the end of a week where he has faced yet more speculation about his future at Upton Park.

He again denied he has been given an ultimatum by owners David Sullivan and David Gold, saying: "We speak only about how to make the team stronger in January.

"I have full support about this. They're trying to do their best. They bought the team with big, big debt and it's not easy but we need to do the best for the team."

The first priority for Grant, though, is to ensure his team show the same character in Boxing Day's trip to Fulham. He continued: "It's very encouraging because we will have a long way until the end of the season. Our target is very clear, to stay in the league and more, and you can build it only if you see in the difficult times spirit and character. Everybody saw that from all the players."

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West Bromwich Albion
Junior Stanislas
Blackburn Rovers
Bryan Robson
Premier League
Ryan Nelsen
West Ham United
Wolverhampton Wanderers

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