Manuel Pellegrini vowed that his West Ham United team will not give up on their pursuit of seventh position after they comfortably saw off Newcastle United on Saturday.
First half goals from Declan Rice and Mark Noble were enough to defeat the Magpies and maintain West Ham’s unbeaten start to 2019 on home turf.
The three point haul also took them above Everton and into ninth in the Premier League table, just four points behind their closest rivals Wolves and Watford, so Pellegrini is eyeing up a possible late season surge towards European football.
“We are not going to give up until we don’t have the mathematic chance to do it,” the manager said.
“We must go game-by-game, we have Cardiff away next and we will see at the end of the season which is the best team to arrive in that [seventh] position.”
On the day that the Hammers honoured one of their greatest-ever players, naming London Stadium’s East Stand after Billy Bonds, Pellegrini was delighted to see two Academy products secure the result for their team.
“The most important thing was to give his name to the stand, and the presence of him in the stadium made everyone happy,” he added.
“We continued to celebrate with two players from the Academy scoring both goals. It was a complete day.”
Following another fine performance from 20-year-old Rice, Pellegrini also reiterated his believe that he is already displaying his talent as an elite performer.
He explained: “Declan is a young player, starting his career and he must continue to do what he is doing every day, listening to the players who have more experience than him that can help in his development.
“He is a complete player, and I said last week that for me in this moment he is the best English holding midfielder. The other important thing is that he is trying to learn every day."