West Ham set to sack Grant

2011-01-15 15:43

London - West Ham are preparing to sack manager Avram Grant and will replace him with former Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill, Sky Sports television reported Saturday.

The network cited unidentified sources as saying Grant would be axed regardless of the outcome of the club's match against Arsenal later Saturday, following the Hammers' poor start to the season.

Although West Ham have slipped to the bottom of the Premier League in recent weeks, Grant was believed to have eased some of the pressure surrounding his position after losing just one match in his past seven games.

However intense speculation this week has suggested that O'Neill, who surprisingly quit Aston Villa on the eve of the season, has been lined up to replace the Israeli coach, who was appointed on a four-year deal last June.

Bookmakers late Friday cut the odds on O'Neill becoming the next manager at Upton Park, with one slashing their price from 20-1 on Thursday to 2-1.

On Friday Grant refused to be drawn on the speculation, insisting he was focused only on ensuring West Ham's Premier League survival.

"It doesn't concern me. I have a job here and I have to focus on that. I love the vision of the club. It's a big, big challenge," he said.

"We have made progress on the football side. We are at the bottom but we are not worse than any of the seven teams down there.

"We are two points from 14th place. I think we are doing the right things. I do not think we will be bottom at the end of the season. If I thought that I would not be here."