Junior to the rescue

Junior Stanislas underlined Avram Grant's faith in him with a priceless contribution away to Blackburn Rovers.

The 21-year-old winger was electrifying off the bench and changed the match back in the Hammers' favour with a well-taken first goal of the season in the 78th minute. It was an equalising strike but the visitors to Ewood Park felt they could have taken more than a 1-1 draw back to east London, a claim underlined by Stanislas.

"The manager just said go on and try and make an impact," he said. "I come on and thankfully I got the goal and we got the point. We are a bit disappointed not to get all three, because it was an open game and we had a few chances ourselves."

Those chances included Matthew Upson hitting a post, Frederic Piquionne heading over from close range and Luis Boa Morte producing a smart stop from Paul Robinson. Hammers debutant Ruud Boffin was more than unlucky with the scrambled Rovers opener from Ryan Nelsen six minutes after the interval - and he was certainly the less busier of the two keepers.

Stanislas said the team would regroup to go again at Fulham next Sunday and take heart from their fightback. "To come away from home to Ewood Park is difficult. We have got something from the game but obviously ideally the three points would have been nice. We will move on to Fulham and try and get them there."

When asked he was certain that the squad and the staff were united for the task ahead. "Everyone is fully behind the manager. People might think because we are bottom of the league the team spirit is not the best but everyone has been pulling together.

"We are just trying to stick together and get out of it."It doesn't sound good to be bottom of the league at Christmas. But the belief has to be there and it is there. If we want to get out of it we have to pull together in one direction and that is what we are going to do to get out of it."