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Page last updated at 23:59 GMT, Saturday, 20 November 2010

Avram Grant blames injuries for West Ham defeat


Grant blames player absence

West Ham boss Avram Grant shrugged off the reaction of angry Hammers fans to blame his team's defeat at Liverpool on the absence of injured players.

Despite making their disapproval of the team's performance in the 3-0 loss, Grant said the supporters were "great".

But the Israeli added: "But they must know it is not easy to play with so many players that couldn't play."

He cited central midfielders Scott Parker, Kieron Dyer and Valron Behrami as key absentees from his team.

Defenders Tal Ben Haim and Manuel Da Costa are also out with injury or illness, along with Jack Collison and Thomas Hitzlsperger, and Grant selected a team with only one recognised central midfielder - Mark Noble - for the club's disappointing defeat at Anfield.

West Ham remain bottom of the Premier League on nine points, having won just one of their 14 matches.

"In the past few weeks we played well and we didn't win games we deserved to win," Grant told BBC Sport after a match in which travelling supporters chanted 'you're getting sacked in the morning' at the former Chelsea and Portsmouth boss.

"But we didn't come into the game in the first half, though in the second I was happy with the response of the players.

"The players looked like they wanted to succeed in this game, but something's not going well.

"We didn't play well like we did in the last weeks.

We are not a one-man team - Hodgson

"It was not like we played against Arsenal [in a narrow 1-0 defeat], maybe because so many players were missing in the key area of central midfield. But we'll take the second-half performance and I'm sure we can win one of the next games, because they are games we can win."

Five points adrift of safety, West Ham face Wigan before travelling to Sunderland in their next two league matches.

Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson said he was pleased with the way his side coped without the inspirational qualities of captain Steven Gerrard, as the match was won comfortably thanks to first-half goals from Glen Johnson, Dirk Kuyt and Maxi Rodriguez.

"It was important to win and I think we did it in some style," said Hodgson. "We knew what we had to do.

"We were concerned we would have to do it without Steven and Lucas Leiva [who was suspended], but the players selected did really well. We got the three points we needed and we got it with not only a good performance, but a thoroughly professional performance."

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Barclays Premier League table snapshot

As it stood on 20 Nov 2010 23:59 UK

Position Team P GD PTS
1 Chelsea 14 19 28
2 Man Utd 14 13 28
3 Arsenal 14 13 26
4 Bolton 14 6 22
5 Man City 13 5 22
6 Tottenham 14 2 22
7 Sunderland 13 2 19
8 Stoke 14 0 19
9 Liverpool 14 -1 19
10 Newcastle 14 1 18
11 Blackpool 14 -6 18
12 Aston Villa 13 -3 17
13 Birmingham 14 -2 16
14 West Brom 14 -9 16
15 Everton 13 1 15
16 Blackburn 13 -3 15
17 Fulham 13 0 14
18 Wigan 14 -13 14
19 Wolves 14 -11 9
20 West Ham 14 -14 9

see also
Liverpool 3-0 West Ham
20 Nov 10 |  Premier League
Saturday football as it happened
20 Nov 10 |  Football
Premier League photos
20 Nov 10 |  Football
We are not a one-man team - Hodgson
20 Nov 10 |  Liverpool
Hammers board back manager Grant
16 Nov 10 |  West Ham


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