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Pellegrini still hopeful of Euro spot

Filed: Thursday, 28th March 2019
By: Staff Writer

Manuel Pellegrini says he believes West Ham remain very much in the hunt for a top seven finish in the Premier League this season, despite recent setbacks.

This Saturday Pellegrini welcomes Marco Silva and his Everton side to the Olympic Stadium, with the Toffees also in the hunt for a European spot next season.

And with just two points separating the two teams Saturday's late afternoon clash promises to be a cracker - something that Pellegrini readily acknowledges.

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"It will be a very difficult game," said the Hammers boss, addressing the (accredited) media during Thursday's pre-match press conference.

"Iím absolutely sure we will need to play a very good game, concentrate in defence and try to win three points more if we want to continue to try to fight for that European spot next season.

"That fight for seventh will be a tight battle. It will be between four or five teams until the last game. Thatís why it is so important to try to continue playing the way we are at home.

"We beat Everton 3-1 for my first Premier League win as West Ham United manager, but that game was a long time ago now. We were starting to recover from a very bad start to the season, and now we need to play here at home against a team who is two points behind us.

"Everton are trying to grow as a club, and I think they have a good method of managing the club. At the moment, they are a similar club to us."

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And Pellegrini believes that key to challenging for a European spot during the current campaign is West Ham's home form - which has generally improved as the season has progressed.

Still, the boss remains mindful of what happened during West Ham's last home performance, in which they were forced to come from 3-1 behind to secure all three points against a plucky Huddersfield team.

"The 4-3 win at home to Huddersfield Town was a strange game, and I do not think we can play in that way at home [again]," he surmised. "We had a strong reaction and we have analysed why we made those mistakes.

"But, we have improved at home in the second part of the season. We lost some important points at home, especially at the beginning of the season, but we must continue trying to add points when we play here at home.

"After that, if we win our next three home games, it may be a successful season. I think, when the team plays well and the fans enjoy the game, everyone is thinking about us winning the game."

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