Grant laughs off speculation

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Avram Grant laughed off the latest rumours about his West Ham future after their Carling Cup victory over Birmingham gave the club's board every reason to give him another stay of execution.

Speculation is rife Grant is on the brink of being axed, but the Israeli insisted he would "be fine" whether his bosses backed him or not. Tuesday night's 2-1 semi-final first-leg win will do his cause no harm at all, with the home side surviving a moment of madness from Victor Obinna to hold the edge ahead of the return at St Andrews in two weeks' time.

"Don't worry about me - I will be fine in any case," Grant said.

"Why do you need to ask me about something that is not in my control? You can ask me why I picked this player and not the other one because this is my responsibility.

"You can ask me if I want to stay or not... no, no. Don't ask me this!"

He added: "If I don't want to be here, I will go to the owner and say I don't want to be here. The other decision is not mine."

However, Grant admitted the rumours about his future, which have arguably stemmed from a lack of public backing for him, were not helpful in the club's battle to avoid Barclays Premier League relegation.

"I lived with rumours, I think, since day one," said Grant, who was only appointed last summer. "For us, it is much easier if the rumours around were like at other clubs. There is Wolves around us, Wigan, Fulham, West Bromwich, Birmingham. The rumours are only about West Ham.

"If everything was more quiet, I think it would help the players more.

"Even with this, you saw the spirit of the players here, you saw the spirit of the players Saturday, you saw the spirit of the players against Wolves, against Everton, against Blackburn. I think everybody needs to respect this spirit."

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