Grant toasts Tottenham triumph

Avram Grant hailed the best win of his West Ham United career to date after masterminding a home win against old rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

The Hammers completed a week to remember - after a point at Stoke City and Carling Cup progress at Sunderland - with a 1-0 home success thanks to Frederic Piquionne's first-half header and the manager could only find words of praise for his team. "It was the best performance since I arrived. It was a good three points.

"It was the first time we took three points and I am happy because we know how much it means to the supporters. To win against a very good team and keep our first clean sheet.

"We were the better team. lt was a good game. We stuck to our way of playing good football even though you always worry about the other team coming back."

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While reluctant to single out individuals, the manager could not hide his admiration for goalkeeper Robert Green. Having earned a point the previous week with a superb flying save at Stoke, Green made sure the Hammers took all three on Saturday with save after magnificent save.

"It was a typical Robert Green performance," Grant added. "He is a good goalkeeper, sometimes keepers have good days and bad days but this was his normal performance. He did some great saves. It is not easy, especially the one from [Luka] Modric."

The manager also pointed out the "unbelievable saves" of Green's opposite number Carlo Cudicini, a reminder that the Hammers went close on several occasions to adding to Piquionne's bullet header from Mark Noble's corner.

"Our team has character. Our first game was not good against Aston Villa and we had zero points. Then we become stronger and stronger when people thought we would be weaker and weaker.

"The mental thing is very important. Rob showed today in the only place that a sportsman needs to show it - on the pitch, not in the media, not with excuses or explanations - that he is a good goalkeeper.

"One thing I am very proud about this team is that we are making mistakes but we learn from them very quickly and it is good because it is only the beginning of the season. We have a long way to reach our targets."

Time will also help with Valon Behrami and Thomas Hitzlsperger to be added to the midfield in the weeks to come, while further forward Victor Obinna and Piquionne are proving a potent partnership. Carlton Cole and Benni McCarthy make up a lively-looking quartet.

"The attitude of the strikers is very good, they are working hard and they are very quick. They understand the game. I know Freddie from Portsmouth, he is a team player, first for the team and then for himself. He scored a good goal in midweek and he scored today.

"Obinna is an intelligent player. He is part of our vision of the club, and not just because of the financial situation, which is to take players that are hungry to succeed. You saw a few of them together including Pablo Barrera when he came on."

The manager confirmed that Kieron Dyer had to be substituted just before half-time because of illness, having already seen Winston Reid miss out this week because of his own sickness. "Kieron was sick. He didn't feel so good. He was dizzy and we needed to sub him. He played well until then."

Such hurdles were overcome well by the team, with everyone playing their part. "We have turned the corner. Football is results - we deserved more from the Bolton and Chelsea games but there is no deserve in the table - but only two weeks ago we started to train all the team together, except the injured players.

"This is a team, they are developing well and I must say they are progressing quicker than I thought."

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