Pellegrini: We need to recover immediately

Manuel Pellegrini

Manuel Pellegrini believes his West Ham United team can quickly return to form when they host Brighton & Hove Albion to kick-off the New Year on Wednesday.

The Hammers fell to a 2-0 defeat at Burnley on Sunday, but enjoyed a positive December and picked up 15 points in the month.

That run left Pellegrini’s men on the cusp of the Premier League’s top half, and with three days to recover since the trip to Turf Moor, he says the players can put that loss behind them.

He explained: “When you lose you want to play immediately, but when you play so many games with the same players -  including three young players in Diangana, Silva and Coventry – you maybe want a few more days to recover.

“But at least we’ve had since Sunday for this one – we have more than 72 hours and I hope that the players will do it.

“We played seven games in December before Burnley and won five and we need to show what we did in those. We need to recover immediately from Sunday’s defeat and we need to continue adding points. We’re playing at home against Brighton, who are a difficult team, but I hope we will see the team we saw in all the other games.”

The manager will have to do without Chicharito, however, as he is still nursing a back injury, but he is hopeful that Pablo Zabaleta will have shaken off the illness which forced him to miss last week’s games at Southampton and Burnley.

He added: “Maybe Pablo Zabaleta can return. Sunday was the first day he didn’t have the fever and we’ll see with him. The other injured players won’t be ready.

“Javier had the injury against Watford and he needs at least ten days more to recover.”