Senior Coach Paul Groves has spoken to the media ahead of Sunday's FA Cup fourth-round visit of Nottingham Forest to the Boleyn Ground.
Groves discussed the signing of Demba Ba, making more potential signings and the importance of returning to winning ways following Wednesday's Carling Cup semi-final exit at Birmingham City. The coach also talked about his work alongside manager Avram Grant, with the other coaches Wally Downes, Kevin Keen and David Coles.
Groves on Demba Ba...
"From a football point of view, he has proved himself in a top league. He's a handful and scores goals so, for us, he'll be a good addition.
"The proof is that he has played the games prior to coming here. Obviously they have had a little bit of a break so he needs a bit of work in terms of conditioning and making sure he's in good shape.
"I think you have to take into consideration the amount of time that Demba Ba has not played for. He's had nearly a five-week break in Germany. It's good time for him to recover but he is coming into a tough league.
"We obviously need to use him, but we need to have him in a good condition as well.
"I wouldn't say he puts pressure on the other strikers but I'd say competition, which is healthy. I think we need that. It's an area where it needs to be healthy at any football club and certainly, for us, it's a positive."
Groves on recent improved form...
"The players have responded fantastically well. Obviously it was a different team against Arsenal and a tough game against a quality side. We have played two fixtures against good sides away from home. We've put in good performances, created chances and scored goals, so it's very positive.
"I think the spirit has always been good and over a period of time it has grown as well and you can see that from some of the performances that have been given. Hopefully that's something that will continue to improve.
"There are a lot of teams involved in it [the relegation battle] at the moment so it's important to go into the latter part of the season in good spirits and off the back of some good performances and one or two good results."
Groves on the coaching staff's support for Avram Grant...
"It's difficult and you try to support him in any way that you can. He's somebody that takes things on his shoulders and tries to deal with them the best he can. He tries to conduct himself without too many highs and too many lows and keep things on an even keel. I think that has come across at times.
"You don't get performances like they've given and we've obviously supported him on a day to day basis and tried to support him in any way or shape that we can to get up the league and improve the position that we're in.
"I think the manager has his own manner in which he conducts himself on and off the pitch with regards to the highs and lows. That's how he conducts himself.
"The coaching staff around him fill in different areas and that's the strength of the group."
Groves on the FA Cup...
"It's very important for us to go out and win any game but obviously the importance and status of the Premier League will take precedence. As a football club, we will obviously go out there and try and win the game.
"When it comes to team selection, it is down to the manager and how we select will probably be dictated by what is coming up in terms of fixtures, but we certainly want to win this fixture.
"I think all Premier League games are going to be massive for us so the next one is vital, but you never get too far ahead of yourselves in terms of preparation and thinking beyond that.
"The most important thing for us at the moment is to progress through to the next round of the FA Cup, but that's not to say that the Premier League isn't the most vital area that we'll be focusing on."
Groves on potential transfer targets...
"I think we are obviously interested in a number of other players but whether those deals materialise only time will tell. It's only good practice to try to keep those names under the hat and only announce them once they've signed.
"When you look at the general make-up of the squad there are areas high up the pitch - OK we've bought Demba Ba and have Carlton, Zavon and Freddie but we could possibly do with another one. I think it's good to have options in those forward areas so that the competition is healthy.
"It works in wide areas as well where perhaps someone can produce something out of nothing. The performances have been good, but on occasion we could have done with somebody who could have gone by somebody and created something out of nothing. Maybe on the odd occasion we could have done with that as well."