Sunday 26 May 2019

Manuel Pellegrini backs Javier Hernandez to rediscover goalscoring form

The Mexico international struck after 12 and 64 minutes.

Manuel Pellegrini has backed Javier Hernandez to rediscover his best form (Owen Humphreys/PA)
Manuel Pellegrini has backed Javier Hernandez to rediscover his best form (Owen Humphreys/PA)

By Damian Spellman, Press Association Sport

Manuel Pellegrini is hoping Javier Hernandez is back to his best after plundering a double in West Ham’s Premier League win at Newcastle.

The Mexico international struck after 12 and 64 minutes before Felipe Anderson sealed a 3-0 victory – and just the Hammers’ second on Tyneside in 20 years – at the death.

Hernandez has had only limited involvement this season after being floored by a virus, but his performance at St James’ Park suggested he is ready to terrorise defences once again.

Pellegrini said: “If you review his career, Javier had played at Manchester United, at Real Madrid, at Bayer Leverkusen, in the national squad of Mexico, different countries and everywhere he has scored.

“He’s had a career in which he was wanted by all the big teams and it’s because he has something different.

“I hope he will continue in the same way if he can have a normal season from now until the end of this one.”

Asked about the illness which had hampered the frontman in recent months, the manager added: “It was five weeks that he couldn’t move, he couldn’t work, not just one day.

“He came first from the World Cup without a holiday, without a pre-season and he started playing some minutes.

“After that, he had that virus. In the last games, he has been playing 45 minutes, but he has recovered now his shape and I hope that he will continue scoring for our team.”

Newcastle had gone into the game on the back of three successive wins, but were undone within 12 minutes when Hernandez steered home Robert Snodgrass’ cross, and all but beaten when he converted from Marco Arnautovic’s flick.

The home side spurned chanced with Ayoze Perez the main culprit, and Anderson ended their feint hopes of a fightback in stoppage time.

Pellegrini said: “I’m very pleased because I think we played a very complete game. Attacking, we scored three goals and we created a lot more chances and defending, we kept a clean sheet and really Newcastle didn’t have clear, clear chances.”

Opposite number Rafael Benitez admitted that the visitors, who spent around £100million this summer with Anderson alone costing £40million, had simply had too much quality for his side.

He said: “Arnautovic, Felipe Anderson, Snodgrass and Hernandez, four players – all of them have quality, all of them have pace, they have ability, that’s the point.

“It wasn’t just one player today. The four offensive players and the players in the middle that they had, they are quite good and will create problems against anyone.”

Asked if that is the kind of quality he craves at St James’ Park, Benitez replied: “Obviously it’s a reminder that still we can improve things, and we have to improve things.

“There are two ways: one is working harder and better, or bringing in players who on their own can make the difference.”

Press Association

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