Grant suffers unhappy birthday

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Football News

Avram Grant called off his birthday celebrations after seeing his West Ham side sink to the bottom of the Barclays Premier League table with a 1-0 home defeat to Birmingham.

The Hammers appeared to be on the up after a midweek win at Blackpool but they looked back to their inconsistent worst on Sunday, rarely threatening the visitors' goal throughout in a disjointed performance. Nikola Zigic's second-half header was enough to see the home side off and put Grant's position as manager back under the spotlight.

"I am not so happy, my birthday is cancelled," Grant said. "How can I celebrate? We didn't score and didn't win. It is not happy birthday but it is not me that is important, it is the team."

He added: "We take a few steps forward and one back and we need to learn from this. We deserve to stay up but we need to do it. We cannot lose games like this.

"The disappointing thing is that we lost to a team near us and it is a game of six points.

"Until now we have won these games. It will be a battle until the end but we need to take points because we have the quality to do that."

Grant's misery was compounded by a calf injury to Robbie Keane and Matthew Upson had to be withdrawn at half-time after earning a last-minute recall when James Tomkins picked up a calf problem in the warm-up.

Upson will be seen by the club doctors but Keane, who scored on his debut against Blackpool in midweek, is a doubt for the Hammers' match against West Brom next week and is definitely out of the Republic of Ireland's game against Wales on Tuesday.

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Robbie Keane
West Bromwich Albion
Matthew Upson
Nikola Zigic
Premier League
James Tomkins
West Ham United

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