Hammers boss hails 'good character' Keane

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Manager Avram Grant believes new signing Robbie Keane can be the catalyst which saves West Ham from relegation.

Keane watched West Ham at Upton Park on Sunday as they defeated Nottingham Forest 3-2 to go through to the fifth round of the FA Cup.

And while striker Victor Obinna scored a hat-trick for the Hammers it was the capture of Keane, on an initial loan from Tottenham until the end of the season, which excited Grant.

Grant, who has heard how Keane can inspire a dressing room from his friend, Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp, said: "He (Keane) is not just a good player, he is a good character that we need in the next 14 games."


The deal with Tottenham is complicated and depends on West Ham escaping relegation but if they do so the loan would become permanent with a contract for two and a half years and a fee understood in total to be around £6million.

West Ham co-owner David Gold said: "We're delighted to sign a world-class striker. Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy drives a hard bargain, but we've got our man."

Grant insisted he also intends to add another signing before Monday's 11pm deadline to the reinforcements he had already made this month. Gary O'Neil, Demba Ba and Wayne Bridge, on loan, have all arrived at West Ham during the transfer window.

Obinna scored two goals in the first half against Forest and completed his hat-trick with a penalty in the second after Joel Lynch had brought down Winston Reid, but Grant would prefer to see such firepower in the Premier League.

Grant said: "He (Obinna) is a good talent. He has not played so many games in the last few years and he is developing. He will get better and better. He scored three goals but we need him to be efficient in the league games. That is the most important thing but winning in the FA Cup or the Carling Cup is also a good feeling."

Dele Adebola and Dave McGoldrick scored the goals for a Forest side who were the better team for large periods of an entertaining cup tie. Visiting boss Billy Davies was generous in his praise of the Hammers.

"It's nice to come to the academy of football and play the way we did in the first half. Irrespective of their league position they have got some great players here, real talent. We have got to realise that is what we are facing."

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Tottenham Hotspur
Robbie Keane
Premier League
West Ham United

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