Team news: Pellegrini offers updates on five players
Manuel Pellegrini has offered encouraging updates on the recoveries of five first-team players ahead of this weekend’s game against Arsenal.
The manager revealed at his pre-match press conference that he and his staff are monitoring the progress of goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski, attacking midfielder Manuel Lanzini and forward Michail Antonio, who have been recovering from hip, shoulder and hamstring problems respectively.
Pellegrini anticipates that Fabianski and Lanzini will be sporting Claret and Blue on the pitch by the end of the month, while a decision will be taken regarding Michail Antonio – who played 70 minutes of last weekend’s 1-0 win against Chelsea – tomorrow.
“We continue with Lukasz Fabianski his recovery, and also Manuel Lanzini and Michail Antonio - the three of them we must continue watching,” Pellegrini said.
“Lukasz and Manu will not be ready until the end of the month, maybe. We will see tomorrow if Antonio tomorrow is fit for this [Monday’s] game.”
Pellegrini also offered updates regarding midfielder Jack Wilshere, whose last Premier League appearance came during West Ham’s game against Everton in mid-October, and defender Winston Reid, who played 90 minutes against Brighton U23s for the development squad last week.
“Wilshere is working with Winston Reid, both of them with the squad,” he confirmed.
I think that Pablo, as with most of the players that arrive in the Premier League, needed time to adapt his football to this special league
Ahead of Monday’s game, Pellegrini also discussed his deployment of summer signing Pablo Fornals, the young Spanish playmaker who assisted Aaron Cresswell’s winning goal in last weekend’s London derby.
The 23-year-old has made a steady start to life in east London and looked to have provided another moment of inspiration with a fine first-half effort which came close to drawing West Ham level against Wolves on Wednesday evening.
Pellegrini expects Fornals to continue to grow into his newfound left-sided role as he garners more experience of England’s top-flight.
“I think that Pablo, as with most of the players that arrive in the Premier League, needed time to adapt his football to this special league,” the manager observed. “We always trust in him. He’s a young player who’s had a good career.
“I am absolutely sure in the way that he is having good minutes, and the team also having good results because that’s very important for the confidence of the player, he will be the player that we bought.”