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Pellegrini: let the hard work commence

Filed: Wednesday, 1st August 2018
By: Staff Writer

Manuel Pellegrini admitted that he was pleased with his squad's performance against Mainz - but warned that several players have a lot of work to do in order to be ready for the start of the Premier League season.

West Ham United's first game of the 2018/19 campaign takes place in just ten days time, and Pellegrini is concerned that several of his players are some way from being fully fit and prepared for the new season - despite winning the Betway Cup last night.

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"We need to keep improving. We have ten days more work before we start the Premier League and there are a lot of players who are not 100 per cent." he told West Ham's website following the penalty shootout win against FSV Mainz.

"We played without Javier Hernandez, without Felipe Anderson, without Andriy Yarmolenko and without Aaron Cresswell, but these players are working more every day and they will be nearer to their normal performance.

"We need to work very hard these ten days. If we donít take any risks Felipe [Anderson] can play some minutes in the game we are going to play on Friday [against Angers SCO], but maybe it will be more difficult for Andriy [Yarmolenko] to play.

"Antonio and Wilshere have played minutes in every game so I think, for the moment, the pre-season is exactly the way we want it to be."

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With regards to the match, the Chilean revealed that he was relatively pleased with the team's performance, one in which they restricted the opposition to just one or two goalscoring opportunities.

"I was very happy with our performance," added Pellegrini. "It was better than the last game we played before we came to Austria [versus Ipswich].

"We drew 1-1 but I think we provided good build-up [play], recovered the ball well and pressed well. This is a Mainz team who try to retain possession but we had more possession than them, so tactically we improved a lot compared with the last game.

"We had a lot more [goalscoring] options than they had and Adrian really didnít have too much work during the game, so in the way that we improved. Itís good for the team."

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The win - albeit by penalty shootout - means Pellegrini's side have now recorded three successive pre-season victories following the wins at Aston Villa (3-1) and Ipswich last weekend (2-1).

West Ham's final game of pre-season comes on Friday afternoon, when Ligue 1 side Angers provide the opposition in Austria. Thereafter the squad can begin to prepare for the season-opener at Anfield on Sunday, 12 August.

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