Avram on Friday

Avram Grant has conducted his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday's Barclays Premier League meeting with Tottenham Hotspur.

The manager spoke about the increased confidence in the squad following two impressive performances away from home at Stoke City and Sunderland.

Grant also fielded questions about Spurs' reported summer interest in Scott Parker, his confidence in Robert Green, how he keeps his players focused and motivated, and dealing with the pressure of football management.

Avram on facing Tottenham Hotspur...

I think it will be a good game. We are improving in the last weeks and playing better and better. Tottenham are a very good team, in my opinion, with very good players and a very good manager so I think it will be a very good game.

This is the fixture and we cannot change it. If I could change it, I would choose another game, but I can't change it. I'm happy that we are playing now that we are better than two weeks ago. We have a good mood in our team.

It's never a good time to play Tottenham, because they are a very good team, but this is the fixture and we'll do our best.

Avram on the meaning of Saturday's game to West Ham United supporters...

With West Ham against Tottenham, you need to look at the history. I know that for our supporters this is the big derby and the most important game of the season. I don't know what has happened in the history but this is a fact.

I said also to my players that we need to respect the supporters about this and try to do everything to make them happy.

Avram and Harry

Avram on team news...

I never speak about players individually. I told you last week that we are winning as a team and we are losing as a team and you needed to see the reaction of the players on the bench when we won in midweek. They were so happy. I think this is good, because the team is more important than anything.

Avram on the positive atmosphere around the club this week...

The atmosphere is much better, but it was also good before. The most important is that their game is improving.

Except the game against Aston Villa and the last 30 minutes against Man United, we deserved more points in all the games we have played. But, as you know, when you see the table it is not deserved, it is the points that you take.

It was very encouraging because we played well against Chelsea and deserved more, but it was only deserved. Then we played well against Stoke City and could win the game, but it was a good point after we had zero points before.

We continued progressing against Sunderland, so you will see that it's not by coincidence. We are developing and I want us to continue with this tomorrow.

Avram on reported interest in Scott Parker...

It's not a secret that me and Harry [Redknapp] are friends and we stay friends. They wanted Scott Parker and other clubs also wanted him. For me it's reasonable, when you have good players and they knew our financial situation and tried to take advantage of it but I'm very happy that Scott is with us.

I speak with Harry a few times a week and we're speaking about everything. I don't remember [what he said about Parker's performances for West Ham].

I don't know [if we had firm offers]. I heard Liverpool wanted him and Tottenham of course, but I didn't see any bids for him. I was not so interested because we wanted him to stay. When we are interested in selling a player, then I am interested about the details and how much money, but we have a vision at West Ham. We want to build a team for the future and need players like Parker for this.

I am very happy that Scott stayed. We are speaking a lot about the money involved in football and I don't think money is everything. I think it is important, but I don't think it's everything. I don't want that players will say they will go to a place where they are paid more or they will not play where they are paid less.

I think they need to check and need to see all picture - what is the vision of the club, if they can be part of this and not just go where anybody can buy you. I think Scott Parker saw all the picture and I'm happy he stayed here.

Players are not slaved but I don't want them to think only about money. Anywhere you are a top player and are on good money and sometimes you need to choose where will be good for you, and sometimes this is not always to be in the big club.

I was in a big club and I was in a club with bankrupt. I don't want to be in football without values and only think about the cheque at the end of the season. Especially in football, it is different, because you don't start playing football for the money. They can earn money, but it's important to think about values and other things.

I think that he did a good decision. It's not easy, but remember he was in a big club - he was in Chelsea before - so he knows how it is to be in a big club and he knows how it is to be in a different position. He said he wants to be part of the vision of the club and he tries to do good things.

Our target is not just for this year. We know this year will be difficult, but we hope that every year will be better and better and I think it's good for Scott to be part of this.

Scott Parker

Avram on the importance of Robert Green...

They are important players because they have played for a long time and are giving everything for the team.

With Robert Green, first we must say that every player has good days and bad days. I didn't see even one player who was good all the time. Especially with goalkeepers, every mistake they make everybody is watching.

I don't want, after five games in the season, to put a judgement on Robert Green. Let's wait and see. I have a feeling that in the end of the season, we will look back and see he had a good season. We need to wait and see.

I understand why you ask me about individuals, but the team is about more than two players. I expect that other players will try their best for the team and to improve it. If you see our game, we are playing better and better as a team in every game.

That situation is reasonable because we have seven or eight new players. Individuals are not so important. It is important because we want them to be at their best, but I can speak about the team.

Robert Green

Avram on getting the best out of his players...

We are using many other things to help the players as well as psychology. Myself and my assistant [Zeljko Petrovic] have a lot of experience about football, but the psychological side is also very important and we need to pay attention to it.

Psychology in sport is not like any other thing because everything is under pressure. These players are very young - remember when you were 20. They have a lot of pressure - pressure to win, to fight for their places, they are not used to big money when they are young and pressure from the media. They are very young, so we try to help them.

There are other areas in football where we can help them - quality, tactics, style of play, how you improve yourself all the time because I don't like players who don't like to be better. There are a lot of areas and this is why I like football, because it's a big challenge.

Avram on dealing with pressure...

I always feel pressure in football. I was in many clubs and also two clubs in England here. When you are at the top it is pressure to take more points, and when you have zero points it is pressure not to stay with zero points.

I must say that although we had zero points, it is only the beginning of the season so the difference is not so big between last place and sixth place - not more than six points.

The owners are very, very positive and followed the things we said before. We decided before how to do it and they know we want to do something very positive here. You can't push a button for success - it takes a little bit of time.