West Ham manager Avram Grant remained defiant over his future at Upton Park on Saturday after a demoralising 3-0 defeat by Arsenal had followed a day of speculation that he was about to be sacked.
Despite having guided the London club into the semi-finals of the League Cup, the patience of owners David Gold and David Sullivan appeared to be running out. Saturday's defeat, which left West Ham rooted to the bottom of the Premier League, only served to heighten the tension.
"Why do you ask me this question? Where was these reports?" asked the Israeli. "You know who gave you the rumours. Ask the person, not ask me."
Earlier today, Sky Sports claimed that former Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill had already been lined up to take Grant's job. The network cited unidentified sources as saying Grant would be axed regardless of the outcome of the club's match against Arsenal, following the Hammers' poor start to the season.
Bookmakers late yesterday cut the odds on O'Neill becoming the next manager at Upton Park, with one slashing their price from 20-1 on Thursday to 2-1.
In his pre-match press conference yesterday Grant refused to be drawn on the speculation, insisting he was focused only on ensuring West Ham's Premier League survival.
"It doesn't concern me. I have a job here and I have to focus on that. I love the vision of the club. It's a big, big challenge," he said. "We have made progress on the football side. We are at the bottom but we are not worse than any of the seven teams down there."