Pool v West Ham: Manager reaction

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West Ham manager Avram Grant believes his side are starting to show the attacking vibrancy and defensive fortitude to pull away from relegation danger.

The Hammers impressed at both ends of the field last night as they lifted themselves off the bottom of the Barclays Premier League with a 3-1 win at Blackpool.

The damage was done in the first half as Robbie Keane struck a debut goal and Victor Obinna followed up his weekend hat-trick with two more goals.

Charlie Adam found the net for Blackpool directly from a corner before the Seasiders upped the tempo in the second half but West Ham held on for a vital win.

“We are improving in the points where we were not good,” said Grant, whose side moved up to 18th in the table.

“We created many chances before but couldn’t score - but in the last few games we are scoring a lot of goals from the same chances.

“That is why Robbie Keane is here - he had one chance and scored. From this situation before we were missing.

“Secondly, we defended better. We defend better when the other team put pressure on us.

“In these two points there is a lot of improvement.”

Obinna opened the scoring when Richard Kingson let his ambitious 24th-minute shot from out wide squirm through his grasp.

Keane then enjoyed some fortune as his sliced effort found its way in after Kingson had twice saved from Obinna in quick succession.

Adam, who dispelled fears his failure to secure a deadline-day transfer might affect his game with a strong performance, gave Blackpool hope when his corner was missed by Frederic Piquionne and curled in.

The fightback was cut short when Obinna struck from distance but Blackpool fought to the end with Neal Eardley hitting the woodwork and Hammers goalkeeper Robert Green being kept busy.

The Seasiders’ form is now becoming a concern after six defeats in seven league games.

Manager Ian Holloway said: “I’m so proud of my lads, what could have gone wrong did.

“We threw everything at them but I thought we lacked a little bit of energy. We have got to stay strong, keep believing and keep working hard.

“To be honest I can’t wait to get away from home.

“All these things are happening in front of our own fans and it is not nice.

“So, let’s get away, play at Everton on Saturday and see if we can stop the rot.”

Holloway is pleased Adam remains in his ranks despite considerable interest from other clubs throughout the January transfer window.

He said: “I’m delighted to still have him and I’m delighted the circus has stopped.

“His time will come but until then he is with us and look how he played for us again - absolutely outstanding.”