Avram on Friday

Avram Grant has held his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League visit to Ewood Park to tackle Blackburn Rovers.

The West Ham United manager discussed the need to pick up points over the festive season, the sacking of Sam Allardyce, the prospect of a winter FIFA World Cup in 2022 and the January transfer window.

Avram on reports of a board ultimatum insisting that he must win one of the next three matches to save his job…

This is not true. Nobody from the Board spoke with me about. I don't know how to answer. If the Board speak with me about this I will answer but they didn't speak with me.

I will make it more simple for you. I approach every game like it's the last game of my job in football.

When you are in the football business, especially when you are a manager, you never know what is around the corner. I cannot compare this team with any other team.

At the start of the season, every team started differently. One team has money, one team is without money, one team has this target and another has that target. I cannot think about things around team, only about things in the team.

The first priority is always the next 90 minutes and that's what we're focusing on, nothing else.

I speak with the owners all the time but I didn't speak with them about this specifically.

I am not speaking about my feelings. I have a job to do and I never felt differently. I am thinking about how I can succeed with my team. If I thought I didn't believe in this team then maybe I need to think about other things, but I believe in this team.

We have done a lot of good things. They showed good spirit last week and that's what I need to focus on. I don't need to think about what is happening in one week or one month because I need to think about things that I can control and not things I cannot control.

Avram on the chances of staying up…

I think we have a good chance to stay in the league. I think we have a good chance of following our vision for the club and being a very good club next year. We know what we want from ourselves.

For the moment, we need to take points to do it. It's not a good situation, but it is something that is possible. It's hard, but we can do it.

Avram on the sacking of Sam Allardyce…

Personally I don't like it because we're not even in the middle of the season. Even if the owners have a different vision, which we need to respect because they are new owners and sometimes they have different visions and can do what they want, I don't think this was the right time to do it. I don't think they needed to do it.

We don't know what happened inside there so, to answer this question, we need to know more information.

Avram on it being a good time to play against Blackburn Rovers…

I never know when it is a good time to play against a team like Blackburn because they are a good team, they are playing well at home and they took a lot of points at home but we have other ambitions. We want to do our business and not focus on other people's troubles.

Avram on targeting points from the next five matches…

I think it's important to think about the next game and then to think about the next one. We try not to focus on more than one game. Certainly our priority is on the next game and then we will focus on the other games.

Even if you saw the game last week for the 30 minutes at the start of the second half we were on top of Manchester City, which is a better team than us. They are a very good team. We almost scored, we had a penalty which was not given which could have changed the game.

So even the games that, on paper, look difficult we almost did something. I know that almost is not enough and we want more, but against the teams around us we played most of the games better than them but, except two times, we didn't take the three points. I think that we need to focus on the positive things and take points.

It is important psychologically and for other reasons. We want three points. You saw Wolves last week were on the same points as us and they won one game and everything looks much better.

When you are at the bottom, one win or two wins change things. You saw us after we played Wigan we played in the Carling Cup and won 4-0 against Man United. That gave us good feelings and you saw what we can do.

We are feeling in the last three months that in 80 per cent of the games we were so close. When you are close, you want to move one step forward.

Avram on the January transfer window…

I think January can help us first with the return of injured players because last week we had four good midfield players not playing because they were injured. We will analyse everything and are thinking about how we can make the squad stronger in certain areas. Even with this squad, when everyone is fit, we played well.

Before January, every day you get a call from 300 agents. I think there are more agents than football players!

We know what positions we can be stronger and better in and we are looking for players. We have some names but for the moment nothing is done.

We are not thinking about players leaving, but anything is possible.

Avram on being bottom at Christmas…

So many times in my life I have had to fight in very difficult situations. Many people say about statistics and about this and that but statistics don't take you down. What we do or don't do on the pitch can take us down, but we want to think about staying positive because we're not even in the middle of the season and there are a lot of games that can change things.

We can focus on the positive things we did in the last game. In most of the games we played football that could take more points, but we need to do it on the pitch.

Avram on managers having less time to build their team…

It is different from ten or 20 years ago but if you look at the last seasons, it has happened every season. You never know what is around the corner as a manager but I think that, despite this, the manager needs to do his job the same way all the time.

We come into every game and want to succeed and I think we also need to think about long-term vision because when you think about long-term vision it doesn't affect the points you take now.

We are doing the same job. I don't think that there is more pressure or that more managers are sacked very quickly. It is a football job and we need to do it.

Avram on a winter FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022…

I like the idea that the World Cup is in Qatar because it's good for the Middle East. I think that, on the football side, it's very good when you play a World Cup in places like Africa and other countries in good weather. I think it's a good idea.