Coach: Carroll-less Newcastle to beat drop

Birmingham City assistant Peter Grant believes Newcastle United can cope with the loss of Andy Carroll and keep clear of relegation.

Despite insisting Carroll would not be sold in January, United manager Alan Pardew was forced to cave in and sell the England international striker to Liverpool for 35 million pounds on Monday’s dramatic transfer deadline day.

But ahead of Birmingham’s trip to Upton Park on Sunday, Grant – who worked under Pardew at West Ham – is convinced the Newcastle manager has the credentials to deal with Carroll’s absence.

“I think he will do it fantastically well because he is a great man manager,” Grant said.

“The players will love working for him and he has got a steely determination. People say he’s got an arrogance but it’s not an arrogance. It’s because he does his due diligence and his work.”

“You go back to West Ham. The team had just been relegated – probably the best team ever to get relegated – when Alan took over.”

“All his top stars were to be sold. He will be disappointed at losing Carroll but people will say 35 million for Andy is a lot of money.”

Only goal difference separates Alex McLeish’s Birmingham and Avram Grant’s West Ham ahead of Sunday’s clash.

Carling Cup finalists Birmingham are 17th and Blues assistant Grant is eager to put some daylight between his side and West Ham in 18th.

“There are quality players in every team who can hurt you and we know it will be a tough game. If we can win there it will give us a bit of a gap,” he said.

“They are all big games between now and the end of the season for us. We are in a cup final but every game is a cup final for us.”