Manager on Monday

With a month to go in the Barclays Premier League, Avram Grant said West Ham United still have everything in their hands to survive.

Even so, Hammers fans will spend the next four weeks looking as much at other results - for example, this evening Blackburn Rovers receive high-flying Manchester City - as their own. What is certain is that following four defeats in April, the manager needs a May revival.

After a 3-0 loss at Chelsea on a sodden Saturday, Grant's team are two points adrift of safety. They play relegation rivals Blackburn at home and Wigan Athletic away in between next Sunday's trip to Manchester City and the final-day visit of Sunderland to the Boleyn.

"There is a lot of belief," Grant said. "Against Chelsea, we created chances and we defended well. The spirit was very good. We played a very good team in the best shape of their season and we deserved more from this. The final score does not tell the story.

"Until 85 minutes it was 1-0 and we had some big chances before then. Everyone said Chelsea would beat us easily. especially without Scott Parker and others [the ill Matthew Upson and Gary O'Neil] but everyone saw we deserved more."

It remains to be seen whether Parker will return at the City of Manchester Stadium next weekend because of his achilles tendonitis problem.

"I don't know about next Sunday, but he will definitely be fit for the week after. I want him to play against City. I wanted him to play against Chelsea also but it depends on his condition.

"You know with Parker if it's 50-50 he will always play, but he was not ready. I hope he will be ready soon.

"The players want to play with him. Every player wants to play with him. He's a good player, the writers' player of the year and everyone wants to play with him. But he didn't play and we need to get results. But we can do it without him."

Grant added that "it is not looking so good" for Mark Noble's stomach complaint after his enforced substitution at Stamford Bridge while fellow midfielder O'Neil is out for the season with his ankle injury. The manager was, though, delighted with the contribution of stand-ins Jonathan Spector and Freddie Sears and is backing his squad to deliver.

"You never know what can happen next Sunday. Manchester City are another fantastic team but there have been a lot of ups and downs this season.

"Since January we have a team that deserve to stay in the league. Of course we are carrying on our back the first half of the season. It is not easy but it is still possible. The gap stayed two points from safety. It is still in our hands.

Fan support will play a significant role and the manager was keen to stress how crucial their backing was to the team - with an outstanding display in the away end on Saturday.

"The supporters are great," Grant repeated, mindful of how crucial their impact could be in tense situations. "If they continue like this we will stay in the league."

The final four matches will be a huge test of nerve with the manager knowing the key to salvation is ultimately about what happens on the pitch, and staying composed under pressure. "In our situation, we need to be calmer in the box and take our chances. Whatever happens next week, we're still in there. It depends on us."