West Ham boss Grant looks to Arsenal test

Hammers boss admits Saturday could be toughest match of their season.

West Ham boss Avram Grant concedes this Saturday’s match at Arsenal could be their toughest of the season.

The Hammers prop up the Premier League table having registered only one win all campaign and head to the Emirates having not won on the road in the league since the opening day of last season.

Arsenal have been beaten by West Brom on their own patch this campaign and although Grant attempted to be positive he is under no illusions.

“There is no easy games. We have had away games where we did very well, then we came to a home game which we could have won and we didn’t,” he said.

“In the Premier League anything can happen. Maybe Arsenal away is the toughest game of the season, but we will try to do our best anyway.”

Striker Frederic Piquionne is a doubt after the forward had to be replaced by Benni McCarthy in Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat to Newcastle, although the Israeli will be able to call-on one of West Ham’s bright sparks this season, Kieron Dyer, who was rested last weekend.

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“Kieron played well last week (against Wolves),” said Grant.

“He has had three years out, he didn’t train all the week, he couldn’t play.

“I’m sure that we can use him in the future, but we need to manage him very carefully.

“It is very frustrating. Hopefully it will not be like Ledley King at Tottenham.

“At least when he plays he is playing very well, but we still need to manage him very carefully.”

Grant will need Dyer and whoever else does play on Saturday to be on top form if they have a hope of getting a result at the Emirates and lift the side out of the relegation zone and into mid-table, a task the boss admits has become more difficult over the past few weeks.

“I think it is harder now, but there is almost 30 games to go,” he said.

“We have games in the next two months that we can win and if we do well as we did up until now when we went five games unbeaten, and all the draws were more close to winning, then I’m sure that we can do it.

“We know that this season will be tough, we don’t want to be at the bottom, but that is the situation now.

“We knew that we wouldn’t be at the top, but unfortunately we didn’t use the games before this one (Newcastle), when the draws were closer to us winning.”