LONDON - West Ham United's euphoria at the prospect of moving into London's Olympic Stadium evaporated in a calamitous first half at West Bromwich Albion before a stunning second half fightback earned them a 3-3 draw on Saturday.
The prospect of the 500 million pounds stadium being handed over to a team outside the Premier League is a worrying prospect for the Olympic Park Legacy Company but the point West Ham salvaged at least lifted them off the bottom of the table.
Two second-half goals by Demba Ba on his full debut for the Hammers and another by Carlton Cole left West Ham second bottom with 25 points from 27 games, one more than Wolverhampton Wanderers who have a game in hand.
While the situation remains critical, under-fire manager Avram Grant could at least take some comfort from a second half recovery almost as spectacular as Newcastle United's from 4-0 down against Arsenal last weekend.
"I think we have what we need to stay up," Grant told Sky Sports. "If you look at the other teams, if they had the problems we have had this year, I'm sure after the first half the spirit would be low.
"But this team has shown a lot of character and spirit and I don't think another team in this position could have done that."
Defeat would have left West Ham five points adrift of fourth from bottom and safety but their fightback means they are just two points behind 17th-placed West Brom.
"At half-time we just spoke about how to change the game and change the way we were playing because we started the game not organised at all," he said. "Everybody was sad so I thought that my job was to make them relax.
"It was not time for jokes but in my nature I always think that everything in football can change. I knew that if we scored one goal it could change everything."
On Friday the OPLC voted in favour of West Ham's bid to take over the Olympic Stadium after the 2012 Games rather than a rival plan by Tottenham Hotspur.
West Ham's pledge to retain the athletics track at the Stratford venue was the decisive factor, although the decision must still be rubber-stamped by the government and London Mayor.comments