Hammers boss Grant angry over two-match touchline ban

WEST Ham manager Avram Grant has hit out at the Football Association for imposing a two-match touchline ban on him, although he insists it will not have an adverse effect on his relegation-threatened side.

The Hammers boss was found guilty of improper conduct on Wednesday and subsequently handed a two-game ban, meaning he will be banished to the stands for tomorrow's trip to Bolton and next weekend's home clash with Aston Villa.

Grant also received a £6,000 fine relating to the comments made about referee Mike Jones in the aftermath of the Hammers' 2-1 FA Cup quarter-final defeat to Stoke last month.

The Israeli hit out at referee Jones' handling of the second half, which began with Stoke being awarded a penalty just 13 seconds after the restart.

Matthew Etherington missed the spot-kick but Grant intimated he felt that Jones had been swayed by the home fans after Frederic Piquionne appeared to handle in the lead-up to the Hammers' opener in the first half.

Grant refuted the charges from the offset and continued to plead his innocence today, arguing that the Football Association should not have charged him.

"I don't like it, I don't agree with it," he said.

"I think it is wrong even from the FA to charge me but this is life.

"Not everybody is right about what they are doing and I will continue.

"It is not such a problem because I am in contact with the staff and I have a very good people that will be on the bench," he added.

"The players know what we are going to do, it will be ok."

In previous weeks, Grant suggested that managers could hold back when talking to the media due to the fear of repercussions.

With both Grant and Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson now serving bans for comments made about referees, the West Ham boss believes fellow managers may no longer be truthful.

"Absolutely [managers will hold back]," he said.

"I don't think even one manager will now speak honestly in front of the cameras knowing that maybe he charged.

"I spoke with managers and lot of them have decided not to do it."

Last week Grant was on the touchline to see his charges throw away a two-goal lead against Barclays Premier League leaders Manchester United and succumb to a 4-2 defeat at Upton Park.

Victory would have propelled the Hammers up the standings but the loss leaves them languishing in 18th place and threatened with relegation.

However, Grant has backed his side to respond at the Reebok Stadium tomorrow and believes they have the right attitude and aptitude to survive.

"I think I am seeing what you are seeing over the last months," he said.

"Our game is much better, we won many games, we took points. In every aspect of the game we are better.

"We score more goals, we are conceding less goals than before, our fighting spirit is better and we are playing more intelligently.

"We have seen a lot of positive things and if it continues then I think we will be ok.

"And I think it is not just about the last performance.

"All our results in the last months were good and the performance in the first half last week was good.

"But I don't want to talk about the past. We have a big game for us tomorrow and that is what is important."

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