Pellegrini unsure over Roberto selection

  • by Staff Writer
  • Thursday, 21st November 2019

Manuel Pellegrini refused to be drawn when asked who he plans to put in goal against Tottenham at the London Stadium this weekend.

The under-pressure boss is under mounting pressure to rest summer recruit Roberto following his recent string of errors in games against the likes of Burnley and Newcastle United.

However Pellegrini indicated that he was likely to stick with Roberto for this weekend's London derby when asserting that everyone at the club - including the supporters - needed to support him through his poor spell.

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"Every player, when they are having a bad time, needs the fans behind them," he said during Thursday's pre-match press conference. "Especially in a special position like goalkeeper.

"Roberto has a lot of experience in different countries. He knows he is maybe not producing his best performance but all of us - the fans, the staff and players - must trust in him.

"However, we have different options [available] in the squad. Finally, after a lot of thinking about different options, we will decide what will be the starting eleven."

Pellegrini - whose side have taken just two points from the last 18 in the Premier League - also revealed that he was mystified as to why the team's form in general had slumped since the 2-0 win over Manchester United at the end of September.

"We started the last season very well, playing good," he added. "Now we must figure out why we didn't continue playing the same way and start winning games again.

"Against Palace and Sheffield at home especially we deserved a better result, but for different reasons we didn't win and we're missing those points.

"If we had five points more, we'd in be sixth position. The table is very tight.

"We must try to recover our performance as individuals and as a team - and I hope this weekend's game will be a good one and see us return to winning ways."

Come Saturday and it will be two weeks since West Ham's last demoralising defeat against Burnley at Turf Moor. And Pellegrini maintains that he and his squad have used that time effectively, rather than brood over their dreadful run of form.

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"I think that this international break was good for us," he said. "We've had time to talk through a lot of things with the players.

"There's not always just one reason why your form dips and I think there are several reasons why we couldn't continue playing the way we started this season.

"I've always said that you need good individual player performances first and, after that, you can have a good performance as a team. The only way to do it is to work for every ball together when you don't have the ball and try to play when you have it.

"Our confidence was flowing when things were going right. Now that we aren't enjoying those successes there is a different kind of positive energy to try to bring back those good results.

"I trust the players because I know they can do it against big teams; they have demonstrated this many times. So I hope that, especially in this important derby, we see the West Ham that we saw at the beginning of the season."

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