West Ham United Manager Avram Grant has brushed aside speculation surrounding his future to concentrate on the Hammers' Carling Cup semi-final against Premier League rivals Birmingham City.

Ahead of Tuesday evening's first leg at the Boleyn Ground, the rumour mill has been whirling furiously as Grant's bottom of the table team battle for top flight survival.

But the former Chelsea boss, who while at Stamford Bridge had semi-final successes in the Champions League and FA Cup as well as the 2008 Carling Cup - whose Final they lost to Tottenham Hotspur - is standing firm.

"I have been asked about my future a thousand times and I have nothing more to say," insisted Grant. "I want to concentrate on this match against Birmingham because it is very important and it's 30 years since West Ham have been to Wembley.

"I have been there twice myself and I enjoyed it very much. Sometimes though, the semi-finals are more exciting than the Finals because when you win them, you know you have reached Wembley.

"I have been involved in three semi-finals and it is a special feeling. I've seen the players' reaction after these matches and I know how much it means to them."

To reach next month's Final Grant's men will have to overcome a Birmingham team who themselves are only three places and one point above the relegation zone.

Both teams will therefore be looking for a Carling Cup boost to take into their respective bids to secure Premier League status.

"In the Premier League we are only two points off 14th place," noted Grant. "Everything can be done and we will do it. The two matches against Birmingham will be very tough though, and it's a lot of pressure because we have a very small squad.

"I don't know what my team will be because we have some injury problems which won't be resolved until just before the game. But we need to have a good result at home because we know Birmingham will be a difficult team over two legs."

West Ham have never won the League Cup but have twice been runners-up, in 1966 to West Bromwich Albion and 1981 to Liverpool. Birmingham beat local rivals Aston Villa to lift the trophy in 1963 but their only other appearance in the Final, in 2001, ended in the heartache of a penalty shoot-out defeat by Liverpool.

In the 47 years since their League Cup triumph Birmingham's only Cup success has come in The Football League Trophy, which they won in both 1991 and 1995.

Now Alex McLeish's Blues want to write a new chapter in the club's history and the Manager said: "The fans are craving a bit of success at this club and we will do our very best to put a smile on their faces."