Manager on Monday

Avram Grant was a proud manager after his West Ham United came from behind to earn a 3-1 win at Fulham on Boxing Day - and end a 27-match run without an away league success in the process.

The manager masterminded the terrific fightback with an attacking lineup that saw Academy aces Junior Stanislas and Freddie Sears in support of central strikers Carlton Cole and Frederic Piquionne. Although the Hammers rode their luck in the first third of the Craven Cottage contest and needed Robert Green at times, there was no doubt they fully deserved all three points by the final whistle.

"I am delighted," Grant said as his team raised themselves off the bottom of the Barclays Premier League. "We came close to the first away win so many times, especially last week at Blackburn. I am really impressed with the attitude and the fighting spirit we have seen in the last few games.

"We hadn't won an away game since the first day of last season and this was an important victory. At West Ham there is a tradition of playing good football. We spoke before the game about playing good football but also being aware that we need to get points.

"The players are very happy, they know the feeling and they want to taste it again. That is very important. We have had some problems this season but no one has felt sorry for themselves. We have a huge belief. We have been playing good football in most of the games and we have been creating chances - we never gave up. Now it is just about closing the gap and getting the wins."

The manager's selection headaches this week were prompted by Luis Boa Morte's suspension while Kieron Dyer and Benni McCarthy had muscle problems. Victor Obinna's recovery from a badly bruised leg was, though, sufficient for him to return to the bench - with the hope he would not be required. Green was back after minor surgery but Valon Behrami (hip) and Lars Jacobsen (heel) were not quite fit enough to return while Zavon Hines sat out as Sears came back after a loan.

Having reshuffled his pack again, Grant was once more impressed with the never-say-die attitude as the team came from behind for a result for the second straight week. "I hope it is a turning point. We spoke about this as well before the Blackburn game and we deserved something in both matches."

Two-goal Cole got plenty of praise from the manager for the way he has knuckled down under pressure - not least from the striker himself and his determination to show his worth to the supporters.

"Carlton Cole showed great finishing for both goals and Freddie Piquionne took his goal very well from Scotty Parker's superb assist. Carlton started the season in the team. He was the first choice but he wasn't playing well. He dropped to the bench but I am telling you that he worked very hard in the last few weeks like he needs to do and he got the reward.

"The first goal was a break for us. I hope we get more like this. I always said to the players when you work hard you will get your breaks. We needed to be awake and Carlton was alive to it. He took the chance well.

"We have had our troubles but we still want to play football in the right way and continue with the club's vision of young players. At Fulham we had three players Under-21 in the starting lineup. What is important is we have the right mentality.

"We knew we didn't deserve to be bottom but also we knew that we needed to do our job and change it. I am sure it will give us a lift.

"I am sure this will not be the last away win this season. There are still some things we can improve and we have players to come back. We continued to believe. We were not good for the first 30 minutes but we kept going.

"We are only at halfway stage, we have half the league in front of us, we will be more efficient and we have players to come into the squad. It will be a long battle but we have a long-term vision and I have always said you cannot change things for the better in one day."