Grant looks to the future

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New boss Avram Grant insists West Ham's struggle to avoid relegation last season will have no bearing on how they perform when the new campaign gets underway.

The former Chelsea and Portsmouth manager was confirmed in the Upton Park hot-seat last month after the Hammers parted company with predecessor Gianfranco Zola on the back of a turbulent season.

Following talk of financial turmoil and the likely departure of key players, they laboured to a 17th-placed finish in the final table after being embroiled in a relegation dogfight during the closing weeks of the campaign.

However, despite the severe problems of last season, Grant believes there is every reason for optimism ahead of the new campaign.

"What happened in the past happened in the past. I'm looking for a new beginning, " he said.

"Our target is not only for next season but for the next seasons. We want to progress. We want our academy to progress.

"We want the team to progress. We want to build a platform that will progress each year and I'm sure we will do it.

"We want to progress with good players. The players from the academy are doing a good job, but we need good experienced players with talent too."

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