Manuel Lanzini says he is feeling ‘near to 100 per cent’ after continuing his comeback with an encouraging performance in Wednesday’s 1-0 Premier League defeat at Manchester City.
The West Ham United No10, who recently returned from a long-term knee injury, was introduced as a half-time substitute at the Etihad Stadium and created the Irons’ best chance of the game for Andy Carroll.
Lanzini revealed afterwards that he has suffered no ill-effects following a successful rehabilitation and is now targeting his first start of the season when Newcastle United visit London Stadium on Saturday evening.
It’s amazing to be back on the pitch and I am feeling like a player again and that is good!
“I am feeling good, I’m feeling strong, I’m happy to be back and feeling strong,” he said. “It’s amazing to be back on the pitch and I am feeling like a player again and that is good!
“It was a very good recovery with two special guys and the recovery was long but good. For now, I feel I am getting stronger.
“It’s very close to 100 per cent because now this was my second game and I played 45 minutes. I finished the game and I feel very good and not tired. The knee is not swelling which is fantastic news and I feel I am near to 100 per cent.”
Lanzini received another loud ovation from the Claret and Blue Army on his introduction and again thanked the fans for their constant support.
“I love the fans,” he confirmed. “When I come here, they always support me and send me a lot of texts. It’s incredible and fantastic for me. I say ‘thank you for the support, I love you and I want to be strong for the fans’.”
Reflecting on Wednesday’s game, which was settled by his Argentina teammate Sergio Aguero’s contentious second-half penalty, the attacking midfielder felt West Ham had given a good account of themselves against one of the strongest sides in the country.
“We know Manchester City is one of the best teams in the Premier League,” he observed. “They take the ball, they have a lot of very good players, but I think we played a good game with some positive things.
“We need to work harder, but now we need to think about Newcastle.”
Looking ahead, Lanzini is also excited by the prospect of working under Manuel Pellegrini – a manager he feels will get the best out of his creative talents.
“Manuel is a very good coach and he was in very good teams, in amazing teams, and he likes players who play the ball and we have these players,” he confirmed.
“We need to stay together and to understand all together, that’s it.”