Pellegrini still eyeing top half in ‘special’ Premier League season

Manuel Pellegrini remains confident West Ham can climb back into the top half of the Premier League table despite their sorry form.

Last weekend’s win at Chelsea was the Hammers’ first in seven matches, and they followed that up with a 2-0 midweek defeat at Wolves.

If results go against them over the weekend West Ham could even kick off against Arsenal on Monday night in the relegation zone.

But under-pressure boss Pellegrini said: “It is a very important match because this season is a special season in the Premier League. There are around 10 or 11 places within four, five or six points.

“After we beat Chelsea we wanted to beat Wolves, but it’s not easy to beat all the teams away.

“I said if we drew against Chelsea and Wolves, that would be two very good results. But that’s just two points, and we have three points.

“I am more worried about the points we lost at home against Crystal Palace, Newcastle and Sheffield United. With five points more we could be in eighth position.

“We must now focus on the next game and try to beat Arsenal.”

Marco Silva’s sacking at Everton means Pellegrini is now once again the bookmakers’ favourite to be the next manager through the exit door.

But he added: “As I always say, the pressure doesn’t link with the results. The pressure for me is in every game, to do it better, play well and win the game.

“You do not need to be in a bad position, without a win in so many games, to start to feel the pressure. Pressure is there always.”

Former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has an outside chance of facing his old club following his latest spell out injured.

Wilshere has not started in the Premier League since August and last appeared as a substitute at Everton on October 19.

But he has trained all week and will have a late fitness check along with Michail Antonio.

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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