Pellegrini praise for Martin after memorable debut

Chelsea 0-1 West Ham United – Reaction

MANUEL PELLEGRINI heaped praise on third-choice goalkeeper, David Martin after the 33-year-old kept a clean sheet on his Premier League debut as West Ham United stunned much-fancied Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

The Hammers produced a resolute display, with Martin – son of former club legend, Alvin Martin, do all he was asked as the east Londoners successfully defended Aaron Cresswell’s goal three minutes after the break.

“Yes, of course, we know his family is linked with this club, it was not easy for him to make his first Premier League start in a moment that the team was living,” Pellegrini enthused over his stopper.

“But I think that from the first time I spoke in the week with him I felt he was prepared. I was trusting him.

“Especially before the game he was very quiet but he demonstrated what he needed throughout the 95 minutes.”

This was the Hammers first victory in eight Premier League outings, lifting them five places up the table, and Pellegrini was clearly satisfied with the solid performance from his charges.

“Yes, maybe, of course for the result, secondly because we didn’t concede goals,” the Chilean continued.

“For me, the most difficult thing during this week was not worried about my job or the future, I was worried to try to convince the players not to change their style, and telling them that we weren’t doing everything wrong. In football one or two goals can decide the result and playing one or two goals behind.

“But today we were consistent and solid throughout the whole game. But we didn’t come here to try to draw. From the first minute, we tried to complete all the way that’s the way that this team must play.”

The Hammers boss made four changes to his side, including the inclusion of goalkeeper, Martin. However, he was quick to ensure it was the team who were credited with the result.

“When you don’t win you are a beast and when you do you are a genius,” he added.

“All the changes that you do as a manager will depend on the performances of the players who come in. For the team, for West Ham, for me and everyone, for the squad I think they did very well.

“But not only because I changed the goalkeeper, I think everyone was doing their duty with the intensity you need in this league to win the game.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea chief, Frank Lampard, bemoaned: “Shocked isn’t the word. The Premier League is what it is. Nothing is easy or given to you. Disappointed rather than shocked.”

Brian Jeeves

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