Avram on Christmas Eve

Avram Grant has spoken to the media ahead of the Boxing Day Barclays Premier League trip to Fulham.

The West Ham United manager discussed the improving injury situation, the importance of scoring a first away league win since August 2009 and improving the squad during the January transfer window.

Grant also restated his strong desire to keep Hammer of the Year Scott Parker at the Boleyn Ground.

Avram on team news...

We trained in the stadium and the training was good. It was very cold, but we didn't have any problems. It is still 48 hours until the game, so we will train again on Christmas Day and then we will know. There have been some improvements, but we will not know until tomorrow who can play.

Robert Green is looking better, but we need to wait and see tomorrow. Victor Obinna also didn't train normally but there is improvement. We need to wait and see. We will decide on Christmas Day. If they train well, then they can play. Nobody likes to train on Christmas Day but we have a game on Sunday so we need to train tomorrow.

Avram on both teams needing a win on Boxing Day...

We were talking many months ago about the importance of games. The next game is always very important for us. When you asked me two months ago if this game was important, it was also important then. Now, even though we have a lot of games left, we are bottom with 13 points.

We want to play like we did last week when we were better than Blackburn and we want to take points because we need them.

I think Mark Hughes is under pressure, but Wolves are under pressure, Wigan are under pressure, Blackburn are under pressure and at the top the six teams are under pressure. This is the name of the game. We are under pressure to take points because we are at the bottom.

I'm sure that we don't deserve to be at the bottom, having analysed our games, but there are no points awarded for 'deserve'. We have to do our job to take points. We try to play good football - that is our target - but sometimes points are more important.

I think it will be a tough game for us and for them. When they came to us earlier in the season, their situation was better. When we played them at home, we drew 1-1 and it was a good game and good quality football. I don't know what will happen in this game but I know it will be tough for us and tough for them.

When you are the bottom, you need to calculate the points you need but the most important game is the next game. We didn't come to the final quarter of the season which is critical, but this is an important game.

Last week the players are upset because we didn't do more. We have been on top of them and they gave more than 100 per cent in a place that is not easy to go. We are always feeling that we are close but we want to do it.

Avram on the record of teams being bottom at Christmas being relegated...

I had a big challenge last year at a team without owners and I had big challenges before. It is always a challenge.

For me, what has happened in the past is good and tradition is good but things happen that didn't happen in the past. Nobody thought a guy could run a mile in under four minutes because nobody had done it before, so there are a lot of things that nobody has done before but we want to do it and we can do it.

Avram on not winning away from home in the Barclays Premier League since August 2009...

The pressure comes because I am always asked this question so we need to end this record! We were very close last week and very close in the games before. This year the difference between winning away games and not winning away games was so small and the players know it.

We are playing against a team who are very good at home so it will not be easy, but that is our target.

Avram on Steve Sidwell...

Normally I don't speak about players when we didn't complete the signing but I am interested in him. He is a good player and a good lad also. We are trying to build a team here with positive guys and intelligent players and he is very intelligent.

In football sometimes the one per cent is stronger than the 99 per cent, but the situation is ongoing. He was my player in Chelsea and he did well. It was not easy at that time because we had 27 international players, but he did well when he came in.

Avram on other transfer targets...

I'm linked with a lot of players who were my players last year and before but I cannot speak about something we didn't do yet. To be fair, it is not a secret that we have a lot of injuries and a few of the injured players have been out for a long time and could have problems like we have over the last three months.

We need to make the squad stronger - everybody knows it. The owners know it so they will try to use January to make the squad stronger. It will be busy. When we have everybody fit we have a good squad but we have a lot of injuries.

We are trying to do everything to make the squad stronger. It's not a secret that there is a lot of debt here at the club so money is important. We have a list of players and priorities that we will follow.

Avram on the possibility of Scott Parker leaving...

No chance. Scott Parker is more than a good player for this football club. Even though we are at the bottom, we are trying to do the right things for this club. We know all the teams that succeeded did not have it so easy at the start.

He is the foundation of this club.

The owners have made it very clear that they want Scott Parker here and want good players here. We don't have many like Scott Parker and it would not be good for us if he left the club and I don't think it would be good for him. He knows what the vision of the club is and he is part of it.