Pellegrini insists he has support from West Ham board and players

Manuel Pellegrini is confident he retains the backing of the West Ham board heading into a crucial match with Southampton on Saturday.

The Hammers have only tasted success once during their last 10 Premier League fixtures and it has seen the pressure increase on the experienced manager.

Pellegrini is said to be one defeat away from losing his job at the London Stadium, but he believes he has the trust of co-chairmen David Gold and David Sullivan and appeared to admit had he been elsewhere, he may have already been sacked.

At a press conference at West Ham’s Rush Green training ground, the former Manchester City boss was quizzed about his future and asked if he expects to still be in the job come the start of next week.

Pellegrini said: “What I really need is to win the game but maybe I’m not in my job on Monday. That’s not a problem of the job. The problem is to try to improve what you’re doing because we don’t have the results.

“We are in a bad moment as not all the other teams but a lot of teams. Burnley, Wolverhampton at the beginning, Bournemouth, Chelsea at the beginning, Arsenal and Tottenham.

“It’s a difficult league where the difference is very little between one player and the other one. I repeat it’s not normal to have five points and very bad results.

“That’s why I know that the owners trust what we are doing because with another owner you may have been sacked before, and we know what football is and we are trying to get results.”

West Ham’s manager was defiant during a flurry of questions about his future, but open and honest throughout.

He also insisted sacking the man in charge is not always the best solution, adding: “In this profession, you always have a contract because you are a very good manager and you are sacked because you are a very bad manager.

“Maybe some teams do the change too soon. I don’t know, Watford have changed. Sometimes to change a manager is a good idea, most part it is not a good idea so it is important to have a cool mentality and trust the manager you brought.”

When Pellegrini was appointed in the summer of 2018, one of his tasks was to get the team playing a better brand of football.

He achieved this during his first campaign and led West Ham to a 10th-place finish, which started talk they could challenge for a European spot this term.

“Everyone has bad moments,” Pellegrini admitted. “I was the first man to put pressure on myself.

“I came here to say I want to be fighting to be near a European spot, to improve in every game. If we are not doing so then it is because, of course, we are failing.”

But the 66-year-old is positive West Ham’s players are still behind him, with a win at Southampton likely to see the one-time Malaga manager remain in charge.

He said: “I don’t think that if you see this team play two games ago against Chelsea that you cannot say players are not listening.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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