Avram on Friday

Avram Grant has given his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League visit to Stoke City.

The West Ham United manager discussed a wide range of topics, including his plans for the Jewish holy day of Yom Kippur, dealing with the Potters' direct style and his strong belief in goalkeeper Robert Green and captain Matthew Upson.

Avram on Yom Kippur...

"I will not be at the stadium because this is a very significant day and out of respect to my father and my mother, especially after all they have gone through, and the tradition of thousands and thousands of years. It is the one day I have respected since I was a child and unfortunately it came on a Saturday this time. I am going to respect this day.

"It is something I have done since I was a child. Unfortunately it fell on the day of the game, but I say it again, I have a lot of respect for a tradition of thousands of years and I think everybody respects this. I have respected other religions since I was a child and there is no other way.

"I didn't notice any negative reaction. Everyone was very positive and even the rector Alan [club chaplain Rev Alan Bolding] came to visit me today. We need to respect this tradition of thousands of years because it is a very special day. I think everybody respects it - we have had a lot of emails, plus support from the Board, the owners and from the supporters.

"The team will be ready. We prepared the team. I will not be in the dugout, but that's why we have staff. I have a good staff and the team will be ready 100 per cent and that's what is important."

Avram on his role in preparing the team...

"I will have all the input except I will not be in the dugout. The meeting with the team, the talking with the team, the tactics, the training and the preparation for the team is the same. The staff know exactly what they need to know in any situation, and so do the team."

Avram on the importance of the Stoke City match...

"It's a big game for us, especially as I think we have improved by the game but still have zero points. I know that it's very difficult for any team to play at the Britannia Stadium, but it's also a good challenge. We need the points and we will do everything possible to take the points.

"I think it can be a turning point, but even though we have zero points, I believe in this team, I believe in this club and I believe in these players that we can have a good season. We know what our target is and it didn't change. Of course, zero points is not something that we were dreaming about, but we knew that we had bad fixtures. Even with the bad fixtures, we didn't give up.

"If you saw the last game against the best team in the country [Chelsea], we didn't give up. We deserved more than we got, but in football there is no deserve and we need to take the points. We're going to take the points, in this game and the next games. We don't have any intention to stay on zero points."

Avram on feeling under pressure...

"All my life I feel under pressure. I don't want to live without this pressure. It is pressure to achieve something. I was in a team at the top and when you drew it was a pressure. I was at a team with problems and I was with the national team where you have the pressure of all the country on your back. Now, I have the pressure. I don't think it is a good pressure, but the pressure to push you is a good pressure. I don't want a life in football without pressure - I don't think it's good."

Avram on Robert Green...

"It has happened to everybody. For him, it has happened at the beginning of the season. I don't think he is alone. Everybody makes a few mistakes. It has happened to every goalkeeper and the most important thing is his reaction. I saw him this week in training and he was very good, very strong and had good spirit. That is what is important to me because mistakes are part of the game - your reaction is very important.

"I never thought about taking him out of the team. It is another kind of football than those we have played against. They have set pieces and throw-ins but we have trained a lot for this and are prepared for this.

"When you want to say about a player, you have to see all the season. Sometimes you have bad moments in the game - it has happened to goalkeepers, to strikers, to everybody. The most important thing is the reaction and I have a feeling you will see Rob Green at his best tomorrow."

Avram on Matthew Upson...

"I don't speak about all the individuals. The team is winning as a team and losing as a team. I don't think Matthew did a bad job until now."