Wednesday 16 October 2019

West Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini wary of Cardiff threat

Pellegrini tasted a 3-2 defeat on his last visit to the Cardiff City Stadium when in charge of Manchester City.

Manuel Pellegrini takes West Ham to Cardiff on Saturday (Adam Davy/PA)
Manuel Pellegrini takes West Ham to Cardiff on Saturday (Adam Davy/PA)

By Press Association Sport staff

Manuel Pellegrini will warn his West Ham players not to take Cardiff lightly on Saturday.

The Hammers will be looking to remain in the hunt for seventh place and a potential Europa League spot when they head to Wales to take on the relegation-threatened Bluebirds.

Pellegrini is also desperate to avoid a repeat of his last trip to the Cardiff City Stadium, a shock 3-2 defeat while he was in charge of Manchester City.

“I remember that, we lost from two corners,” Pellegrini said at his pre-match press conference.

“I hope that things change. That is just a statistic from last time. We need to play for 95 minutes and concentrate on every ball.

“It is my duty to convince the players that the position in the table of Cardiff will mean it is a more difficult game, not an easy one.

“They will play at home, they are fighting against relegation, they don’t have many points difference to other teams above them.

“So we need to play with a high pace from the beginning, be a sharp team, be an aggressive team and try to attack and win the game.”

West Ham will once again be without the perennially injured Jack Wilshere, with Pellegrini still unable to put a timescale on his return from his latest ankle problem.

“Any update? Not for the moment,” he added. “We are going to give him the time to recover 100 per cent.

“Maybe next week he will start doing some work on the pitch but we must be calm with him, he needs to recover 100 per cent.”

Pellegrini has, however, been boosted by the return to fitness of two key defenders.

Aaron Cresswell limped off during the first half against Newcastle last weekend, while Fabian Balbuena has been out since December with a knee injury.

“Aaron Cresswell worked with the team for the last two days, so he will not have any problems,” said Pellegrini.

“Fabian Balbuena played on Monday for the under-23 team, 45 minutes without a problem, so both of them are available for selection.”

PA Media

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