Grant cheered by spirit

Avram Grant is convinced his players will soon get the rewards they deserve after coming up short again - this time in a 3-1 loss against the Barclays Premier League champions.

The statistics may show that the team have yet to avoid defeat in four matches this season and have conceded three times in each of those contests, but the positives were there to see for the fans packed into the Boleyn Ground. The Hammers refused to lie down to Chelsea, despite being two goals down inside 18 minutes, and made it a contest right to the end.

The match was barely 90 seconds old when Michael Essien powered in a header but debutant Victor Obinna had a couple of chances to level matters as the home side came back strongly. However, Hammers hopes were dashed when Robert Green was unable to hold on to a fierce free-kick and Matthew Upson's clearance cannoned off Salomon Kalou and into the net.

It was a freak goal that left Grant cursing his team's fortune. "The second goal was unbelievable," said the manager. "I never saw such a thing. But I must say the reaction was good, we dominated and created a lot of chances. This is football. We need to score when we get the chances."

The manager said his team continued their spirited display after the break, with the introduction of Kieron Dyer and then Freddie Piquionne livening up the attack. Obinna - who was named man of the match - continued to threaten. However, Essien was able to make the game safe with a headed second before the committed Scott Parker's superb lofted effort late on.

With new boys Lars Jacobsen and Tal Ben Haim slotting in well at the back, and the rested Pablo Barrera and Thomas Hitzlsperger, still out with a thigh injury, among those to come in, the manager has more options in store. Grant added: "We have a lot of positives to take and if we continue like this, the future will be good.

"All of the new players that we had brought something to the team. Obinna and Barrera are players that can quicken the attack. Since the transfer window shut, most of the players had been on international duty. This week we will train for the first time together and I am very happy with my new players."

Grant will have a full week to work with his men at Chadwell Heath and said the focus would especially be on the rearguard. "I can say we are not organised so much as a team on the defensive side," he said.

"We need to work on this and have all the players together. We have this now and all the team now need to be more defensively organised, including the attack. But we are improving in a very short space of time. With time we will be better and better."

"The organisation was not so good until now but today it was much better. There is a lot of things that we have improved but at the end of the day we lost the game. I am sure, though, if we continue like this we will take points.

"We need to build the spirit from game to game, from month to month. To build it takes time, not a long time, but I am happy when I see improvement.

"I am not happy that we have zero points - especially because we deserve more from our two games at home. Regardless, we are going for a long-term project. I am very confident that we are doing the right thing. We don't have points now but at the end of the day you count the points when the season is finished."