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Beleaguered Grant going down fighting

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Jonathan Stevenson | 07:13 UK time, Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Upton Park, East London

Since he first set foot in England nearly five years ago, it has often felt as though Avram Grant has been fighting a losing battle.

In almost five years he has had spells at Portsmouth (twice), Chelsea and West Ham; five years in which he has had to deal with a seemingly never-ending stream of rumour and innuendo about his future.

But as he faced the press on Tuesday night at Upton Park, after The Hammers had taken a step towards their first appearance in a Wembley showpiece for 30 years with a Carling Cup semi-final first leg win over Birmingham, Grant finally seemed to be at peace with his unenviable situation.

Besieged by questions for most of the last two months about his supposedly imminent dismissal, Grant has, this week, had to fend off speculation that West Ham will terminate his contract as manager at a board meeting on Wednesday.

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