Grant clings on

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Football News

Avram Grant on Wednesday looked to have been given a stay of execution as West Ham manager after a board meeting at Upton Park ended with him still in place.

Speculation has been rife that Grant is on the brink of the sack but he appears to have bought himself time to convince his employers he is the man to keep the club in the Barclays Premier League.

The future looked bleak for the former Chelsea and Portsmouth boss following last week's 5-0 thrashing at Newcastle - which left the Hammers rooted to the foot of the table - but an FA Cup win over Barnsley and Tuesday night's spirited Carling Cup victory over Birmingham earned him what looks to be a reprieve.

Indeed, barring the result at St James' Park, Grant has overseen something of a revival at Upton Park in recent weeks, with that their only defeat in seven games in all competitions.

They have also won four of the remaining six to ensure they are still within touching distance of climbing out of the drop zone.

But Grant is nevertheless on very thin ice and failure to take anything out of the next two tough games against Arsenal and Everton could see him jettisoned before the second leg of the League Cup semi-final against Birmingham.

The 55-year-old was defiantly relaxed after Tuesday night's 2-1 win over the Blues, calling for an end to the rumours about his position.

However, the silence which followed Wednesday's board meeting was hardly a vote of confidence and defeat to Arsenal on Saturday could provide his bosses with the perfect excuse to pull the trigger and appoint a replacement in time to make the most of the January transfer window.

The Hammers are actively pursuing a host of players this month but have so far failed to bring anyone in. Wayne Bridge is expected to complete a loan move from Manchester City at any time and has reportedly passed a medical but Steve Sidwell looked certain to join last week before going to Fulham.

Tal Ben Haim has also returned to Portsmouth after spending the first half of the season on loan at Upton Park. The defender was hardly missed on Tuesday night as West Ham produced a battling display with 10 men.

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Manchester City
Wayne Bridge
League Cup
Premier League
Newcastle United
West Ham United
Steve Sidwell
FA Cup
Tal Ben Haim

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