Pellegrini pleased with ‘gritty’ Hammers

Aston Villa 0-0 West Ham United – Reaction

MANUEL PELLEGRINI was adamant that his West Ham United side went to Aston Villa determined to take all three points, but was satisfied with the grit and determination they displayed – particularly after being reduced to ten me – to earn a share of the spoils with Premier League new boys, Aston Villa.

West Ham largely appeared defensively sound throughout the goalless contest at Villa Park, even when Arthur Masuaku was harshly shown a second yellow card by referee, Mike Dean – a decision which angered the vocal contingent of Hammers fans who had made their way up the M6.

“I think I was very happy with our performance,” the Chilean chief enthused.

“We came here from the first minute to try and win the game. unfortunately, we had to play around thirty-minutes with one player less, but the attitude was always the same – to recover the ball and to score.

“It is a difficult stadium and if you can’t win then it is not bad to draw.”
Declan Rice suggested at full-time that this was the type of contest in which West Ham would have come unstuck last season – an observation Pellegrini supported: “Yes, I agree,” he continued.

“Without any doubt, we have made progress in that sense. We are working hard when we don’t have the ball. We have not conceded any easy goals since our first game against Manchester City.

“We work hard defending and after one year now, of course, we still need to continue improving if we want to be a good team and fighting for some important titles.”

The draw extended West Ham’s unbeaten Premier League sequence to four matches, but Pellegrini refused to get carried away by his sides recent good form, adding: “Yes, four unbeaten and maybe tonight was our chance to be in the spot of the Champions League – that is why we needed personality to win here.

“We couldn’t do it, but in playing this way I am sure we will get more points and win more games.”

On the sending-off of Masuaku, the Hammers boss said: “It is a typical second yellow card when you play away.

“It is very easy to simulate a foul, to make a fake foul. It is normal, they tried to do it with the pressure of the fans on Mark Noble in the first half.”

Brian Jeeves

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