Pellegrini happy with pre-season performances

Manuel Pellegrini


Manuel Pellegrini has expressed his happiness with the way his West Ham United squad have approached their pre-season work.

Five weeks into his reign, there is a real feeling of positivity around the camp, with the new manager, his staff, seven summer signings and the players he inherited all clearly pulling in the same direction.

Pellegrini himself is delighted with the way the squad has embraced his intensive, thorough and clears methods and is looking forward to seeing them put into practice in the Premier League.

“The players that have come in with our new project, both the new signings and the players who were here before, feel that the club is doing things well,” he said.

“I think that all of them know that they cannot repeat the season that they did last year in the Premier League, because this is not a team that should be fighting against relegation.

“When you put together the work, the ambition and the fact we have changed a lot of things, we hope that we can make a good season.”

They were difficult conditions as it was very hot, but I think the players played a serious game

Manuel Pellegrini

The Hammers completed their warm-up for the big Premier League kick-off at Liverpool with a 1-0 victory over French club Angers SCO on a stiflingly hot evening in Austria.

The game saw Pellegrini experiment with a 4-4-2 formation, with the returning Chicharito partnering Marko Arnautovic in attack, Aaron Cresswell making his comeback from a calf injury and a number of other players getting valuable match minutes under their belts.

The manager expressed satisfaction with the way his players adapted to the different system in such testing heat.

“They were difficult conditions as it was very hot, but I think the players played a serious game,” he observed. “Chicharito scored and it’s difficult to ask him for more at this moment because he just worked for one week.


Chicharito scored on his pre-season debut against Angers SCO


“A lot of players who played on Friday were also coming back from injuries like Felipe Anderson, Michail Antonio and Jack Wilshere, who played some good minutes and we are trying to manage their work. There were a lot of reasons why I thought that was a good game.

“In every game we have played in pre-season, I think we have improved a little bit more, except the game against Ipswich when we did not play with a high enough tempo. In all the other games, I think the team improved.

“We worked and changed to a different system against Angers and the players adapted without any problem, so I am happy with the pre-season. The players are happy, so it was a good pre-season.

“We worked hard, but now we must try to use this last week to see all the details and start the Premier League as best as we can.”

West Ham’s opening Premier League fixture at Anfield will take place on Sunday 12 August at 1.30pm, with the match being screened live in the UK by Sky Sports.