Manuel Pellegrini says West Ham United need to make the most of home advantage as they prepare for three London Stadium fixtures in a week.
First up, the Hammers take on London rivals Chelsea in the Premier League on Sunday aiming to build on last weekend’s 3-1 victory at Everton.
That victory gave Pellegrini his first three-point haul as West Ham boss, and although he recognises the difficulty of the task facing them in the week ahead – with Manchester United following Chelsea’s visit – he is confident the Hammers can continue to build.
The Blues had a long midweek UEFA Europa League trip to Greece to contend with but the boss says home advantage is more important than any potential fatigue Chelsea could face.
“Teams like Chelsea are used to playing in Europe and playing three games in a week so I don’t think that will be an advantage,” he said.
“The advantage will be for us if we play here at home and we believe that we can continue playing the same way against any team. Now it is Chelsea, next week it is Macclesfield in the [Carabao] Cup and Manchester United, we have three games at home and we must try to play the same way we did the last game.
“Chelsea is a team that moves the ball very quickly. We are going to try to do also the same thing. Of course the midfield have a very important role in that moment and the less space you need to do it in is better for the team. So we’ll see on Sunday which team we put in.”
The advantage will be for us if we play here at home and we believe that we can continue playing the same way against any team
Chelsea have enjoyed a superb start to life under new boss Maurizio Sarri, having won all five of their opening Premier League fixtures.
Sarri headed to Stamford Bridge from Napoli this summer, having risen up through the leagues in Italy after abandoning a career in banking to concentrate on his coaching.
As a civil engineering graduate, Pellegrini can relate to Sarri’s experience from outside football and he says that rounded approach can benefit your managerial style.
“This is the first time that I’ve come up against him," he added. "Every preparation you have had will be useful for you to be a manager. You must be a leader and be able to talk with all different types of people in different ways.
"So maybe the preparation he had in another activity was useful to him to work as a manager. He is doing very well at Chelsea as he did at Napoli before.
"Being an engineer helped me with a lot of things but the most important thing it taught me was to know my own mind. You know you have to resolve problems and you must know which is the best way to do that - which things are the priority and which things are secondary. It is all in your mind."