West Ham manager Avram Grant is gutted to have midfielder Gary O’Neil out for the rest of the season.The 27-year-old will be sorely missed for West Ham’s final five games as they battle the drop, starting with Saturday’s trip to Chelsea.
“It was a bad, bad injury. Gary was one of our best players, especially against the big teams,” Grant said
“He has experience to work hard, he knows how to pass the ball and he was good.”
“We missed him last week when it was not so easy for us to play.”
““He’s a good lad who came to a new team and has played like he’s been with us for many, many years.”
“It’s a fact that we have many, many injuries and we need to deal with them.”
“When all the squad was fit and we need to know how to take points even when players are injured. We need everybody.”
West Ham have been struggling at the wrong end of the table all season but Grant still believes they can avoid the drop and needs his players to have the same faith.
“I don’t want players who don’t believe,” Grant said.
“In football you have to have to believe because anything can happen.”
“Chelsea are a very good team but we have caused problems for Arsenal and Tottenham away and this is our target this season and we are thinking only about this.”
“I believe very much in the future of this club because there is a good future if we do the right things, but for the moment we are busy with the present.”
“These are big, big games in front of us and a big challenge and it’s not easy, but nothing in football is easy.”
“There are the words possible and impossible, but the players know that it is possible and we need to give a lot of effort.”
Scott Parker was named as the Football Writers’ Association’s 2011 Footballer of the Year on Friday but will miss this game against his former club with an Achilles’ tendon problem.
Midfielder Junior Stanislas (groin) will also be absent.
Wales midfielder Jack Collison (knee) is set to make his first start in more than a year.