Peter Expects...

Peter Grant is looking for a five star performance against Rotherham to get the crowd flocking back to Upton Park in even bigger numbers on Saturday.

"The way you win fans back is winning games and performing well; we are not kidded that we have come anywhere near the quality we should have, except for a big part of the Crewe game - though we played gingerly when we lost the goals - and a big part of Saturday.

"Other than that we have been a bit stop/start.

"It is like watching a good film; if people think it is good they tell you about it and we want people to be telling others that we are worth watching."

So what film would he like West Ham to represent...

"My favourite viewing? Any football programe that shows us winning!" he laughs.

Looking back on the win over Sheffield United, he adds:

"That was very important for us; we have not been too enamored with all of the performances this season and we think there is a million miles to go to make us a good side.

"But we thought the first half on Saturday was excellent and we kept and moved the ball better than we had in recent weeks - so we were delighted at that.

"We could quite rightly have been three or four up but as long as you are only one up the opposition are always going to get a chance; we didn't pass the ball nearly as well as we did in the first half after the break and let them back into it.

"They got a flukey goal, to be perfectly honest, but we were pleased with the win because we made a few changes; there may have been 12 days off but we had three or four away and with the new signings we only had Friday afternoon to work together.

"Going to a place like Sheffield and getting three points has to delight you but we know there is still a long way to go and there is still a lot of improvement to be made as well.

Calum Davenport and Carl Fletcher made their first starts, with another new signing, Malky Mackay coming on as a substitute, and Peter says:

"We knew the type of player Calum was and we were pleased with the way he came in - he knows the division, having played in it a long time now, which is obviously a big help to him, and we had no qualms about putting him in.

"Carl came from the division below and looked as if he had played in this division all his days, and we were pleased with him as well.

"I have said before that good players can play anywhere and Carl has a good selection of pass, he sees the game, he has an aggressive side to his game, he can tackle, and he is good in the air.

"He will get better and once he gets to know the players and gets sharper he will improve.

"He was caught in possession a bit in the second half a couple of times; it was a big occasion for him and maybe a bit of tiredness crept in, but he will be a big addition to the squad and he as to get better - like they all have to do.

"Malky had five or 10 minutes at the end, which was important for us, and I think we looked stronger both physically and mentally as well.

"Malky has played in the division for six or seven years and he has plenty of experience - he will play a big part of it.

"We have a group of players that have played on big occasions and good players always rise to them - and I though the team in general did that on Saturday, especially in the first half when we played some of the best stuff we have all season.

"We have a competitive edge within the group with the likes of Lomas, Dailly, and Zamora to come.

"If they come back and we don't get any more injuries then you are talking about a group of 22 or 23 players that hopefully can take the steps that we want to go, which is to get back in the Premiership.

"Yes, there will be players disappointed but the best teams have competition and that raises the standard in training because players want to do that to give the manager a headache."

Another new signing, Chris Powell, is hoping to make his debut, and Peter adds:

"Chris is a very good player who has looked after his body very well and if you look at Rufus on Saturday he has probably played as well as he did all season.

"That competition always makes players play better - against Southend there were four or five players making debuts and then all of a sudden you look at the bench on Saturday, and the ones that weren't stripped, and it is a lot stronger."

Peter dismisses claims from Blades manager Neil Warnock that the referee was an influence on Sheffield United losing, and says:

"They were lucky to still be in the game and they should have been dead and buried at half time.

"That is typical Neil; when he loses a game he will always blame something and we have no qualms about that.

"The game is about winning and we won the game - deservedly so.

"We have games when we feel genuinely hard done by by referees but if it was a boxing match it would have been stopped in the first half on Saturday."

As for Rotherham, he says:

"We have watched them a few times this season and they have been very lucky - sometimes that little bit of luck doesn't go for you when you are down there.

"When you are at the top you always seem to get a little bit of luck and when you are at the bottom you don't.

"Their work ethic has been fantastic but they have not scored enough goals to win games - that has been their downfall.

"But it is never easy playing Rotherham and towards the run-in here we only beat them by the odd goal and it was a very difficult game and they make it hard for you.

"They will create chances and we know we will have to play well to win the game - as we have to in every game in this division, because there are so many teams alike now that are capable of beating each other.

"You see some weird results with a team battering someone one week and then losing heavily the next week.

"That is the nature of this division and we have to be very guarded against that - if we give the ball away as cheaply as we did at Coventry or Sheffield in the second half Rotherham could cause us problems."

The search, then, for the complete performance goes on, and Peter concludes:

"You are always looking for the 90 minute performance and we have not done that yet - we are working very hard to improve and hopefully we can put that together.

"There are maybe seven or eight clubs in this division that think they can win this division and for the most part to do that you have to win your home games.

"And if you can win at places like Bramall Lane that helps."