Manager on Monday

Avram Grant is hoping to have new faces in his squad come Tuesday night's closure of the transfer window as the manager reiterated how he is prepared to be patient this season.

Although the campaign has started in stuttering fashion, he said the time to judge his squad would be after ten to 15 matches. The fixture list has been unkind to the Hammers - Chelsea are up next on Saturday week - but the manager has positives in the form of those returning after long absences and the addition of half-a-dozen quality players to his options.

The first to arrive in the summer was Thomas Hitzlsperger, and the manager is hopeful his influential Germany midfielder will be back sooner rather than later while Nigeria forward Victor Obinna, signed from the UEFA Champions League holders Internazionale, could make his debut against Chelsea. Add Tal Ben Haim and Winston Reid to the defensive mix and help is certainly on the way.

"It's only the beginning of the season so we cannot make any conclusions after three weeks," said Grant as he reflected on a 3-0 defeat at a rampaging Manchester United side virtually at full strength on Saturday. "We must wait for 10-15 games to see our direction.

"They are a good team, a better team than us for sure but we were in the game in the first half until the [Wayne Rooney] penalty. This is football. Of course we are disappointed but in time it will be better.

"There are positives I can take from that. Kieron Dyer did well and with time we will be more organised to help him. We have two weeks to think about Chelsea.

"We are trying to bring in new faces. Still we have Obinna, Ben Haim, Reid and Hitzlsperger. Half of the team will be back [including Saturday substitutes Pablo Barrera and Frederic Piquionne] and I hope to have them in the next few weeks. I am sure we will do good things and we are patient. "

Grant has identified his greatest areas of need for strengthening - "we didn't have players in the positions we needed them" - but also reiterated that his players need to focus on the future rather than the past.

"Chelsea is a tough fixture and I can't ever remember a team at our level having such tough fixtures at the beginning of the season. But these are fixtures we have been given and, in football, anything can happen. We have two weeks to think about things. We can become stronger.

"It's not easy to keep the morale up - especially after last season - but I don't like talking about last year because we do not need to be reminded about it.

"It's not easy but I've told the players from the beginning that I want to see their character both when they win and when they lose. It's only the beginning of the season and if we win two games we will be as good as any other team.

"Last season things were decided for me off the pitch [Portsmouth] but this year they will be decided on the pitch. It's a big, big difference."