Peter's Tough Test

PETER Grant was pleased to see the Hammers drawn at home in the FA Cup Fourth Round, but is expecting a tough tie against Championship rivals Sheffield United.

"The main thing you look for in the FA Cup is a home draw," insisted Peter, "and we're pleased to be playing at Upton Park again in the next round.

"We know how good Sheffield United are and it'll be a really tough game. The Blades deserved to beat us when they came to Upton Park recently. They were organised, determined and made it very difficult for us to play.

"Our display in that game was a real let down, but we came back well against Norwich on Saturday and we'll be looking to put in a much better display the next time Sheffield United visit.

"We'll need to be at the top of our form to beat them. They have some Premiership quality players in their side and as a unit are extremely tough to break down.

"But it should be an excellent cup-tie and if I were playing I'd be really looking forward to it."

Both the Hammers and the Blades claimed Premiership scalps in the Third Round, Neil Warnock's men dispatching Aston Villa 3-1, while Alan Pardew's Hammers knocked out Norwich 1-0. And Peter admits that the all Championship Fourth Round clash will be a good advert for the division.

"Both teams knocked out Premiership sides in the last round, which underlines the strength of the Championship," added Peter.

"Much is made of the gulf between the top-flight and the Championship, but both sides showed on Saturday that there is a lot of quality at this level.

 "Sheffield United and ourselves are both chasing promotion, so the tie will be a really great spectacle for Championship football.

"Hopefully, we'll have an atmosphere to match the one created against Norwich, where the fans really lifted the team and made it a fantastic game for the players to be involved in."

Although the focus returns to League football this week, Peter dismisses the notion that the FA Cup is a mere sideshow for Alan Pardew's promotion chasing team.

"The FA Cup is a massive competition and come the Fourth Round both sides will be chasing as hard as they cane for the big prize," he said. "Everyone at the Club is determined to go as far as we can in the competition.

"Each game brings its different challenges and problems, which coaches and managers must try and overcome. We had a very good win against Norwich, but Sheffield United will be a different proposition and a very tough test. It should make for an excellent cup-tie."