Pellegrini: Emiliano Sala’s situation is a tragedy


Manuel Pellegrini faced the media ahead of West Ham United's Emirates FA Cup fourth-round trip to AFC Wimbledon...

The Hammers return to Kingsmeadow for a second visit of the season, having knocked the EFL League One side out of the Carabao Cup back in August. 

Here’s what the boss had to say…


Emiliano Sala’s situation is a tragedy

It is so difficult to understand what has happened to Emiliano Sala and the pilot of his plane. It is a tragedy.

It is something that everyone in life must be prepared because we could find ourselves in that situation.

We don’t know what happened and I hope they will find him soon. I know it is difficult for him to be alive now, but it is such a tragedy.


Emiliano Sala

The hard work never stops for our young players

The Club awarded Grady Diangana a new long-term contract because he deserves it.

He has grown a step with the first-team squad this season. He was in the U23s before and now he is working every day with our squad. I think he has a lot of quality and we will see an important player in the future of this club.

Now his development will depend on his ambition and mind, to try to improve every day.

I try always to tell young players that they are in the most dangerous part of their careers, when they think that they have arrived, but they have not arrived yet. They have started arriving, but they must improve every day, working with professional players.

Fortunately for me, at all the clubs I managed before, I've had young players to try to have a good development of their qualities. I hope West Ham will be exactly the same.

Declan Rice started improving a lot, he played last season, now we have Grady, Xande Silva and other players and me, the captain Mark Noble, the squad and the Club can help them to be important players for West Ham.


Manuel Pellegrini at Kingsmeadow

I’d welcome a repeat performance at Wimbledon

We played Wimbledon in the League Cup, it was not an easy game and we were losing 1-0 in the first minutes.

After that they had a player sent-off and finally we won that game. I remember from the first minute of the game, we played with the pace you need when you play those teams. I hope we can repeat that performance in the FA Cup on Saturday night.

They now have a new manager in Wally Downes, who was working here previously. Maybe the results are not good for them in this moment, but the FA Cup is different and everyone wants to continue to the next round.

We are not thinking about winning the competition. When you want to win something you must go game by game. We must try to continue to the next round first. You always need a little bit of luck in the draw but, for now, we must take it step by step.