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Match Report
West Ham Utd vs Blackpool
 0 - 0 
Date: 
13/11/2010
Venue: 
Boleyn Ground
Attendance: 
31,194
Referee: 
Kevin Friend
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Avram Grant admitted his team's search for three points is proving a difficult task but remains steadfast that West Ham United will thrive once that victory comes.

"We need that first win," said Grant as he faced the media immediately after the goalless draw at home to Blackpool that made it three straight draws. "With the football we play, once we have that win, that will give us confidence and many wins will follow. It is very hard but I am sure that it will come. We will continue to fight."

"It is very strange situation. When you have one win in 13 matches, you might say things are not good but the players have developed, they are better from month to month."

The manager also thanked the supporters for their patience, having understandably been frustrated by a week that saw leads lost at Birmingham City and at home to West Bromwich Albion before Saturday's contest. "The supporters are great. They supported us to the last minute. They saw the effort - this is not a team where you can complain that one player didn't give everything.

"We are doing a good job and the wins will come. I have no intention to give up on this."

Although his team have lost just twice in the last eleven matches - including a narrow defeat at Arsenal - the wins column remains telling. The Hammers felt they were unlucky again on Saturday when an early penalty shout was denied when visiting defender Craig Cathcart handled Victor Obinna's shot midway through the first half.

Although further decisions were then to go equally against both sides, it was clear that early call could have had a major bearing on the outcome. That said, Grant was making no excuses. "Football is a game of goals and we didn't score unfortunately. We also almost conceded from counterattacks at the end as we looked for the goal."

The manager could not fault his players attitude and application that almost got a reward when Carlton Cole's first touch after entering as a substitute hit the post in the 72nd minute.

"We had enough chances to win two games. We did everything right, I cannot say any bad words about the players. They pressed the ball well, they passed and moved and they created a lot of chances.

"We want the right decisions from referees but we also created enough chances and didn't score. Maybe the players lost a bit of confidence because we are at the bottom of the league. We created a lot of chances. I don't know what to say after a game like this. Everything was right, the players gave everything. There wasn't one player who didn't fight."

With Mark Noble turning in a man of the match display on his return to the side just 12 days after having his appendix removed, Scott Parker was again tremendous alongside him and Robert Green produced another couple of notable saves. There were clearly positives to take.

When asked what could change things for the better before the trip to Liverpool next Saturday evening, Grant added: "The answer is to continue like this and keep creating chances. In football, we know what we can do better but only if the spirit and mentality wasn't good would we need to change things. This is not the case."

Mark Noble
 Match Stats
 
  West Ham Blackpool
Goals : 0 0
Possession : 47% 53%
Shots On Target : 4 5
Shots Off Target : 13 11
Corners : 8 7
Fouls : 7 7
Most Fouls : Ilunga (2) Adam (2)
Yellow Cards : 0 1
Red Cards : 0 0
 
 Team Line Ups :
 
Rob Green   
Lars Jacobsen   
Matthew Upson   
Danny Gabbidon   
Herita Ilunga   
Luis Boa Morte 71
Mark Noble   
Scott Parker   
Kieron Dyer 18
Victor Obinna   
Frederic Piquionne 82
 
Substitutes :
 
Marek Stech   
James Tomkins   
Carlton Cole 71
Pablo Barrera 18
Radoslav Kovac   
Jonathan Spector   
Benni McCarthy 82
 
 
46 Matt Gilks
   Neal Eardley
   Craig Cathcart
   Ian Evatt
   Stephen Crainey
   Charlie Adam
   David Vaughan
59 Elliot Grandin
   Gary Taylor-Fletcher
67 DJ Campbell
   Luke Varney
 
 
 
46 Richard Kingson
67 Marlon Harewood
   Jason Euell
   Ludovic Sylvestre
59 Matt Phillips
   Rob Edwards
   David Carney
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