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Grant on... West Bromwich Albion

Filed: Thursday, 11th November 2010
By: Staff Writer

Avram Grant shares his thoughts on another positive performance - and disappointing result...

Avram: more points dropped.


When you got the second did you think you would go on and win the game?

Yes, the reaction after they scored the goal was good - we went 1-1, 2-1, a great chance to make it 3-1 with Freddie in front of the goal; we dominated the game. We played quick in the second half unlike the first half so of course I thought that we were going to win this game. But a corner against us and we conceded a goal. Disappointing.

You seemed very unhappy with the officials tonight?

I don't want to... I don't want to speak about referees.

When you scored you threw your water bottle. Was that at the assistant referee?

[laughs] No! Of course not.

Towards him?

No, no.

Why did you throw the bottle?

I don't know, I threw it on the floor because noone came to take it. I don't remember why, but of course not.

You seemed quite unhappy with Freddie after you'd just scored; what were you saying to him?

I said what I needed to say - and in the second half he played much better...

You said in the programme that you think the team's too nice; is this still the case?

Look, we've conceded four goals in the last two games and not one was from open play. The first goal from a direct ball, the second against Birmingham from a set-piece; today a penalty - even though I don't think it was a penalty - then a corner. So it's something that we need to think about.

Can you beat Blackpool and Liverpool to get the amount of points that your co-owner wants you to get?

I want to take points not because anyone else wants to take points but because I think we deserve to take points, I think, if you watch many of our games. I don't want to say the word 'deserve' because there is no deserve, we need to take it and I think we are very close to it. I think once the first win comes we will win more games because we are playing the football to win games.

It's not easy because we've had a lot of injuries. Today we were without [Valon] Behrami who was maybe our best player in our last game, he got injured in the last minute of training yesterday. Obinna was injured, Mark Noble is injured but we are keeping our style of football. Sometimes, it's not going like we want - like much of the first half - but if you see the whole package, we are playing well. This is what frustrates us more than anything.

Were you unhappy with the penalty awarded against you?

I don't want to speak about referees today. I think everybody can judge for themselves.

Do you think the fans understand - you talk about how close you are?

As far as I know they understand it very much. Of course they want more points, but there is nobody who wants to take points more than me, my players and my staff. But I think everybody is seeing good games of football and from my experience of football if we continue to play like this, the points will come.

What happened to Carlton Cole? Was it his hamstring?

I think so; I didn't see him. I will see him after I've spoken with you but I think it's a hamstring, yes.

Is that the first penalty you've seen given this season for holding like that? In the area? It's quite rare?

I didn't think he [Boa Morte] held him but again, today I'd prefer not to speak about decisions of referees.

Did he [Mike Dean] threaten to send you off at the start of the second half?

No, why?

You seemed to be talking to him and he seemed to be pointing at the stand.

No, no. We talked - very politely - to each other, it was not something exceptional! I told him what I thought, he told me what he thought and that's all.

The fourth time this season that you've been in a winning position and lost it - is there a fundamental problem with the players?

No... Look, every time we've conceded a goal it's because something happened. In the past we didn't react well, now we react very well to going 1-0 [behind] and we continue playing. We're not a team that can drop back and defend with eight, nine players. We continued playing and conceded a goal.

All the time we concede goals you can point the finger at someone, but we prefer to stay together and win as a team and lose as a team. After the game of course we analyse the game and see what we can do better.

Blackpool made ten changes for their game aginst Villa tonight; are you unhappy about that?

They did what's good for them. Also they have a bigger squad than us at the moment due to injuries so they could do it. We even needed to use Kieron Dyer today and he's not trained so much. Valon was injured and Obinna wasn't ready to play more than he did, but we needed to use him and he was good.

Scott Parker was immense again in the middle of the park. Are you worried that without him you'd be in real trouble?

Scott is very good for us, especially because of the injuries - he always plays without someone else in midfield! It's not so easy sometimes because we want to create more stability - also in defence because we have to change all the time.

Of course we are very happy he scored because he's playing all the games and he's doing well for us. His goal today may well be the goal of the year so we don't want to think about other possibilities!

When are you meeting the owners next?

I speak with them every day almost, sometimes every two or three days. Thank you.

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by Niran Ade-Onojobi
11:38AM 11th Nov 2010
''A valuable point and we should be grateful that Wolves lost as this further closes the gap between us. The Hammers need to work on giving goals away and must beat Blackpool to bring some succour to us diehard fans.''

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