Avram on Friday

Avram Grant has revealed that Thomas Hitzlsperger will make his West Ham United debut in Monday's FA Cup Sponsored by EON fifth-round tie with Burnley.

The Hammers manager also discussed the need to take the threat of the Clarets seriously, the club's outstanding form in the knockout competitions and the positive impact made the by the four January signings.

Avram on the FA Cup…

"The FA Cup is always exciting. After a few games you can be in the quarter-finals and semi-finals. I like the FA Cup, but of course our first priority is the league like every other team in the league.

"It's a good competition. I like this competition. It gives you a break from the league which is also good.

"It's always good to play at home but I know this won't be an easy game. This team [Burnley], for them the FA Cup is everything. This is an opportunity for them to get everyone to love them and I know from the past that teams can come from the Championship and give it their all. We will prepare ourselves for a very difficult game."

Avram on the difference between the club's league form and cup form…

"I think we were a little bit more efficient in the cup competitions. I don't think we played differently apart from in the game against Manchester United, when we were exceptional.

"I think also in the league we had some good games but we were not so efficient and didn't pick up points. It doesn't always happen in the cups - we lost the semi-final of the Carling Cup when we wanted to be in the final.

"We don't prepare any different. We prepare the same and want to win games like we do in the league."

Avram on half-time team talks…

"My way is that I always give the players three or four minutes and they and the staff can say whatever they like and speak between themselves. Then I come and say whatever I need to say tactically and mentally.

"It was no change at West Bromwich Albion. Scott Parker spoke with emotion and it was nice to hear him. He spoke and then of course it was down to tactical things and other things.

"We have many leaders in our team. We have a captain [Matthew Upson] and Scott is one of the leaders. He's doing well and I'm happy with him and the others."

Avram on the team-bonding day…

"We are playing on Monday and our last game was on Saturday so we decided to take the day in the middle to be with the team together away for one day. It was good for the team spirit and was very successful.

"We did go-karting and many other things. It was nice. It doesn't matter who won, but it was nice to watch them enjoy themselves in the middle of everything."

Avram on Thomas Hitzlsperger…

"I think he is almost there. He played 70 minutes against Chelsea in a reserve game and he did well. It's not easy after so long out - he was injured since August - but it's nice to see him almost there.

"He will play on Monday - I don't know how long but he will play on Monday."

Avram on January signings…

"I am pleased with all the signings. We were playing good football before but we were not so efficient. All the four new signings have started and we feel like they've been with us a long time.

"Unfortunately Robbie Keane got injured because he is very important for us and we bought him to be an important part of our team.

"Our other signings are doing well - Wayne Bridge, apart from his first game, is playing very, very well, Gary O'Neil is playing his part and Demba Ba scored two goals and played very well after a long break."