Saturday 21 September 2019

Pellegrini targeting top six

West Ham 3 Crystal Palace 2

West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire
West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire

Andy Sims

Manuel Pellegrini has set his sights on sixth spot after West Ham climbed into the top half thanks to goals from Robert Snodgrass, Javier Hernandez and Felipe Anderson.

The Hammers, rock bottom after losing their first four league matches of the season, are now up to 10th and just five points behind Manchester United in sixth.

"We need to continue to recover that bad start to the season," said boss Pellegrini. "Losing four games in a row, the only way to balance that is try to win four games in a row. Maybe the first five teams have so many points that it's difficult, but we must go step by step and try to beat Fulham next week. I always look up. I never look down."

West Ham trailed at half-time to James McArthur's early goal, but two sublime curlers from Snodgrass and Anderson, either side of Hernandez's poacher's strike, put them in charge before Jeffrey Schlupp pulled one back.

Pellegrini's entertainers have now won three games on the spin, scoring three goals in each. Frank Lampard was in the West Ham side the last time they managed that feat - Frank Lampard Snr, that is, in 1982.

"I think that reflects the style that we want to play here, that the players are convinced in what we are doing," said Pellegrini.

By contrast, the problems are piling up for Palace boss Roy Hodgson. A run of just one win in 10 matches means his side lie just two points above the relegation zone, and they will be without Wilfried Zaha and James Tomkins against Leicester next weekend due to fifth bookings.

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