Manager on Monday

Avram Grant is aiming for a hat-trick of strong performances from his West Ham United team in order to secure Barclays Premier League survival.

West Ham welcome Blackburn Rovers this coming Saturday before successive Sunday outings away to Wigan Athletic and then at home to Sunderland. Grant's men are three points from safety but he believed heart could be taken from the 2-1 loss at Manchester City on Sunday.

"We saw [positives] in this game and the last game [against Chelsea] as well," he said. "I think we showed a lot of spirit and character, after a very bad start, and we had a great comeback."

The Hammers were two-nil down before they knew it at the City of Manchester Stadium via Nigel de Jong and a Lars Jacobsen own goal but refused to give in - despite Matthew Upson picking up a dead leg and being forced off the pitch.

Robbie Keane had a gilt-edged opportunity to score before Demba Ba pounced to halve the deficit at half-time. The second half saw both teams have their moments - stand-in captain Robert Green had to be particularly alert - but FA Cup finalists City hung on.

"There were a lot of positive things to take for the next game against Blackburn and the next game is the most important game.

"We have to take points next weekend - these are now the last games. There is no time to recover after this. We need to build on our performances against good teams."

Grant is hopeful of having Scott Parker back for the run-in after his third successive absence with an achilles problem, while the ineligible Wayne Bridge will return after being forced to sit out City. Jack Collison, who travelled to Manchester, could also return to help fill the void created by Mark Noble's hernia operation.

"We coped well without so many players who were key when we had a good run until a month ago. Gary O'Neil, Scott Parker, Mark Noble and Wayne Bridge was a major part in this.

"We played without them and we showed the difference between the two sides wasn't great. We can take a lot of positive things for the next game which will be very difficult but it is at our home and we can do it."

Grant reiterated that two wins and a draw could be enough for survival but is asking his men to look for the maximum from every match. He will hope his squad will rise to the occasion and not dwell on the fact they have lost five matches in a row.

"First we need to win the next game and not be busy with speculation. We need to take the points. There is no doubt about it. We cannot do anything except take points. We are in a position to take points and I think we showed that we can do it.

"In the last two games, everyone could see we deserved more but we didn't take any points. In the next game, we need to take the points and it doesn't matter how.

"It will be very important for us. I know the supporters are waiting for this game so it will be a good opportunity. Apart from Blackburn, the other teams around us didn't win so it stayed more or less the same. We have the chance to stay in the league.

"It is pressure but it is a challenge. If we can win next weekend then everything will be open to stay in the league. This is the most important game and it is a great chance."