Avram Grant says referees have cost West Ham 10 points this season

Avram Grant says referees have cost West Ham 10 points this seasonAvram Grant has claimed that his West Ham United team have suffered the poorest refereeing decisions of any side this season, with at least 10 points being lost due to mistakes from officials – a total that would have taken the Premier League's fourth-bottom club clear of danger.

West Ham host Manchester United on Saturday lunchtime. Sir Alex Ferguson claims that United have had some terrible decisions but Grant said: "We have suffered more than any other team at the very [decisive] moments – as everyone has seen on the television, the decision was against us too many times. If the decision was right, we would have had at least 10 points more.

"This is part of the game. You can accept one decision that was for us but most of the decisions was against us. Everyone understands what Alex said and what he spoke about in the last games. I don't know about Manchester United, I think about us.

"This is referees – sometimes they make mistakes. I am not saying that one referee did it on purpose. But the game is much quicker [so] we need to help the referee so that they can do their job better. I have a few ideas about that but I don't want to speak about this now, as when I speak what I think people think I am criticising the referee, which I don't have an intention of doing."

Grant will face a disciplinary hearing shortly regarding comments he made about Mike Jones after West Ham lost 2-1 to Stoke City in their FA Cup quarter-final. The Israeli accused Jones of being "weak", suggesting that because he missed Frédéric Piquionne handling the ball before equalising for West Ham the official subsequently compensated by favouring Stoke in his decisions until Danny Higginbotham's winner.

Ferguson will serve the second of his five-game suspension for questioning the integrity of Martin Atkinson, after United lost 2-1 to Chelsea in the league. While an unrepentant Ferguson claimed on Thursday that United have had some "terrible" decisions, Grant does not believe refereeing standards have declined.

"No. They are making the same mistakes that they did before, the same good things," he said. "But I think that if you look at games even five years ago and now – and I suggest to everyone that they look – the game is much more quick. More players are athletes. Even if you look 10 years ago half of the players then were athletes and half technical, so the game has become more physical and more quick, so it is more difficult for the referees to take decisions."

Despite United heading the division by five points Grant says West Ham will not deviate from their normal approach. "When you play Manchester United or against other teams that are better than you on paper, I believe that you need to play our game," he said, "but we know the strength of Man United and we cannot let them play like they want because, when they do, they are a very good team."

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Jamie Jackson, for The Guardian on Thursday 31st March 2011 23.00 Europe/London

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