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Pellegrini pleased with Board input

Filed: Friday, 10th August 2018
By: Staff Writer

Manuel Pellegrini says he is pleased with the business West Ham have done in the summer.

The new manager was backed by the club to the tune of around 100million during the summer transfer window and believes he now has a squad capable of performing well in the Premier League.

However Pellegrini refused to be drawn when asked to predict exactly where the club will finish this season as a result.

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"When I spoke with the owner, we agreed what the project would be for West Ham in the future," he said during this morning's pre-match press conference.

"They wanted to invest money, as have most clubs in the Premier League, and I think we have improved the squad. The Board have worked very well and we have a competitive squad.

"The difficult thing is when you don't have options. The players know I have to pick a starting XI, but they also know you need a strong squad and not just a team to be successful in the Premier League.

"You need two players in each position and they need to train hard for every game, then it is my decision to pick the starting XI.

"We talked about the general [hopes] but not about a target for where we want to finish. It's so difficult to predict results. We will try to play in the best way to be as near the top of the table as we can, but we don't have specific targets."

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And when asked whether the considerable level of investment in new players added more pressure upon him personally, Pellegrini maintained that all managers in what is the world's most well-known league are under constant pressure.

"I never knew a manager who didn't have pressure," he replied. "Especially in a competitive league like the Premier League, where the pressure always exists. But as I said, it is more difficult when you have no options and just eleven players.

"For me, it's easier to have more good players and some of them must wait for an opportunity. The 40 days we have worked in pre-season, the players are working very well with our new ideas and our new system."

Looking ahead to his first test - a formidible one on paper as he takes his new team to a ground where they're tasted victory just once in the last 55 years - Pellegrini revealed that he had full trust in his players.

Even if, surprisingly perhaps, he admitted to making no special plans for a certain Egyptian striker.

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"Pre-season has finished and except for the three players with long-term injuries [Reid, Carroll & Lanzini] and Fernandes, who has a slight problem, the rest of the squad is fit.

"I know Liverpool are in a very good moment but, in football, results can depend on two or three points in a game. We have a lot of trust in ourselves and we will go there and see what we can do.

"We don't have any special plans for Mo Salah because it would be easier if Liverpool were just Mo Salah, but they aren't. They have Firmino, Mane, Shaqiri etc. But Salah is a great player and we all saw what he did last season."

Pellegrini also confirmed that Mark Noble would continue as club captain during his tenure. "Although I don't know how many times he will be selected," he added, "every time he is selected he will be captain!"

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