Manager on Monday

Avram Grant is heading into a major month for West Ham United having seen his team come up second best against high-flying Manchester City - although it was not for the want of effort.

When asked his words for the supporters in the wake of a 3-1 home defeat on Saturday that ended a five-match unbeaten run at home, the manager called for everyone to stay United. "The supporters are great and my message to the fans is simple," he said. "Everything is possible and I am sure we will be OK. We will do everything we can to achieve our targets and never give up.

"I believe in this team and this club. Of course, this is the time to take points - we are coming to the middle of the season. There is time to recover but we need to change things and get points. I am sure we will do it. It won't be easy, but we can do it."

Grant was aware that results were needed and sooner rather than later - even if he did not expect to have Jack Collison and Thomas Hitzlsperger to aid the cause just yet.. "I am not happy about this situation. It is not a time that I like but if I am asking the team to be strong and show character, then I have to be the first one to do that. I have to lead, be strong and show character.

"Every week we have to make changes. When you have a settled team it is easier. But we are a squad and I have faith. We were beaten by a very good team on Saturday, I cannot tell you anything different to that. They were stronger and had more quality and physicality."

With a trip to Blackburn Rovers to come on Saturday, the manager was certain his team would be ready to go again come kick-off. "It will not be difficult to lift the players. I am sure what we want to do is possible. We will take this club up the table and we have games in the next month that we can make an impact. We need to play them and take the points.

"I am not thinking about myself - only that the future of this club will be good. It is a difficult time but I am sure we will come out of it. We will fight to do this in every game. The time has come to stop saying 'we are playing well, but...'"