West Ham United Vs Birmingham, Sun 6 Feb 2011

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Avram Grant wants to see the day when West Ham can be united.

The Hammers boss has presided over a season of turbulence which has seen his side fighting for Barclays Premier League survival while he has been fighting for his job.

The club's owners, David Gold and David Sullivan, backed him last month but only after reports that Martin O'Neill had been offered the job at Upton Park.

Now Grant wants to consign all the in-fighting to history and take West Ham to top-flight respectability, starting with the home encounter against Birmingham.

Victory would take West Ham out of the relegation zone and dump Birmingham, who last month denied the Hammers a place in the Carling Cup final, into real trouble.


Yet Grant believes West Ham must unite, in the boardroom and the dressing room, if they are to survive.

He said: "I wish one day it will be more stable. I want all the people in the club to be happy. We are going together to the same target. I say to the owners, the players, the kit men, everybody, we have the same target and we need to be always together.

"As a manager I am doing everything so that this club will be in this direction."

West Ham have won six, drawn three and lost only three of their last 12 matches as Grant's message has begun to hit home with the players.

The signings of Gary O'Neil, Demba Ba, Wayne Bridge and Robbie Keane in the January transfer window have raised expectations around Upton Park and renewed faith in a manager who has had a tormented time so far in English football.

Grant's first season saw him try to stop the ship rocking following Jose Mourinho's departure at Chelsea. His next job found him amid the financial conflagration at Portsmouth. If anything the last six months have been even more challenging.

Grant is happy for his record to be analysed.

He said: "In every club the difficulties have come from different angles and I am very proud of what I did. I am very proud of this season.

"There are two kinds of people. When there is a fire some people come with oil to make the fire bigger and some come with the water. I come with water."

Cameron Jerome admits Birmingham have to shake off their tag as draw specialists if they are to climb clear of relegation trouble.

City again demonstrated their fighting qualities in twice coming from behind to earn a 2-2 home draw with Manchester City in mid-week.

But it was the 12th time in 23 games this season that they have shared the spoils - a tally only equalled by Everton.

But striker Jerome is aware victories are what will see Blues move away from danger.

The Hammers will be looking to avenge their Carling Cup semi-final setback against Alex McLeish's side 11 days ago and surrendering a two-goal lead in the league meeting at St Andrew's.

Jerome told Press Association Sport: "It was a great comeback again against Manchester City.

"We showed great resilience again and, I keep emphasising it, the team spirit is magnificent and we never give in.

"We also beat Chelsea here and we seem to do well against the big teams. We don't over admire them.

"The lads are pleased to get points off these quality teams but we need to start picking up victories.

"That is what is going to get us out of trouble. Three points is what we need at the moment.

"Looking on to Sunday, we are optimistic we can get another good result against West Ham.

"We seem to have the number on them this season so far so hopefully we can go down there and come away with three points."

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