Lukasz Fabianski says Manuel Pellegrini’s ability to transform the mentality of his squad has been key to West Ham United’s resurgent form.
The Hammers lost their first four Premier League games following the Chilean’s appointment in the summer, with Fabianski picking the ball out of the net eleven times over that period.
Since then, however, West Ham have won seven out of 13, including the last four in a row, and lost just three, rising into the top half of the table in the process.
The Poland international goalkeeper was one of nine new arrivals on the playing side and he says the recent improvement has been based on Pellegrini successfully implementing his footballing philosophy into a squad packed with high-quality players.
We understood more what his demands are, especially on the mental side of the game, his approach and how he wants his team to behave on the pitch in different circumstances
“We were a group that needed a bit of time to find the balance within the team, to find the right way and what suits us when it comes to playing – the shape, the tactics – and what suits the manager best when it comes to picking a team to perform,” Fabianski explained.
“Since the first four games we lost, after that, I think we’ve been in pretty good form during this period and I think the manager knows more about us as a group and what to expect from every single player, and what suits him best to get the best out of the team.
“It was tactics and the mentality of the group [that have developed] as well. We understood more what his demands are, especially on the mental side of the game, his approach and how he wants his team to behave on the pitch in different circumstances. We understood his ideas of being a team a lot better.”
West Ham’s next opportunity to put Pellegrini’s plans into action comes on Saturday, when Watford visit London Stadium.
The Irons can make it five top-flight wins in succession for the first time in 12 years, but Fabianski says that while the hosts should kick-off in confident mood, they can take nothing for granted against Javi Gracia’s talented side.
“When it comes to our team, we’re obviously happy with how things have gone for us recently,” the No1 confirmed. “To get four wins in a row is something very nice but we don’t forget how competitive this league is and how every opponent is tough and hard to beat.
“Our focus is still on working hard and progressing as a group and just trying to get the max out of every single game.
“Watford are a very strong side. They started the season very well and they have some very strong players in their squad, so I think it’ll be a tough game for us. They’re doing very well in the table, so I guess it will be a very exciting game.”