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Page last updated at 19:06 GMT, Saturday, 11 September 2010 20:06 UK

Avram Grant says West Ham 'not a team for relegation'


Grant puts faith in new signings

West Ham boss Avram Grant is confident his side will not be drawn into a relegation battle after they slipped to a fourth successive league defeat.

"We can take a lot of positives from this," said Grant following Chelsea's 3-1 win that left West Ham without a point and bottom of the table.

"We had three big chances in the first half and in the second half, we dominated," added the Hammers manager.

"If you saw the level we played, it's not a team for relegation."

Michael Essien scored two and Salomon Kalou one for the Blues before Scott Parker grabbed a late consolation.

"Essien has been fantastic this season," boss Carlo Ancelotti said.

"I think he's better than a new signing," said Ancelotti. "We missed him last season because he's one of the top midfielders in the world.

Ancelotti modest on season start

"He came back and we're happy he can maintain this level of play."

Essien rose above the Hammers defence to head Chelsea's first from a corner and their second goal owed much to good fortune as Matthew Upson's clearance hit Kalou and looped into the net.

Essien added his second header seven minutes from time before Scott Parker volleyed a late consolation.

Parker's goal was West Ham's first from open play in the league this season, but Grant was pleased to see his team creating chances, with striker Victor Obinna twice going close to scoring on his debut.


And Grant sprung to the defence of out-of-form goalkeeper Rob Green, whose failure to hold on to a Didier Drogba free-kick that led to Chelsea's goal.

"It happens sometimes," said Grant. "The most important thing is to react. He is a strong boy and he will be better in the next game."

For Ancelotti, the only blot on another polished display was a rib injury to John Terry, which forced him off after 82 minutes.

But Ancelotti is optimistic his captain will be fit for the Champions League match against MSK Zilina on Wednesday.

"John took a knock on his ribs," said the Italian. "We'll have a look tomorrow and I hope he will be fit for Wednesday. On Sunday it will be more clear.

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see also
West Ham 1-3 Chelsea
11 Sep 10 |  Premier League
Saturday football as it happened
11 Sep 10 |  Football
Saturday's football photos
11 Sep 10 |  Football
Obinna secures West Ham loan move
27 Aug 10 |  West Ham

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