Manuel Pellegrini has admitted that West Ham United have many players who are lacking fitness in the run-up to the start of the upcoming Premier League season.
West Ham beat 1. FSV Mainz 05 on penalties this Tuesday after a 1-1 draw to win the Betway Cup but for the Chilean manager this does not cover up the fact that some members of his squad are not match fit so close to the season opener against Liverpool on the 12th.
More players need better fitness
“We have 10 days' more work before we start the Premier League and there are a lot of players who are not 100%," said the former Manchester City manager. “We need to keep improving.”
Pellegrini noted the absent players in his interview with the club's official website: “Tonight we played without Javier Hernandez, without Felipe Anderson, without Andriy Yarmolenko, without (Aaron) Cresswell, but these players are working more every day."
The Hammers' last pre-season game before their opener away to Liverpool is on Friday when West Ham take on Angers SCO at the Das.Goldberg-Stadion in Austria.
When talking about the absent players Pellegrini said: "They will be nearer to their normal performance. We need to work very hard (over) these ten days.”
The Chilean continued on to say: “If we don’t take any risks, Felipe (Anderson) can play some minutes in the game we are going to play on Friday, but maybe it will be more difficult for Andriy (Yarmolenko) to play.”
Possible ins and outs
With several players potentially not being match fit before the start of the season Pellegrini has not ruled out more business in the transfer window before it's closure on the 9th.
“It depends which players will not continue in the club and also on the options we have to replace them," said the manager.
Pellegrini assured that the work is being put in to recruit new players:"The sporting director and myself as manager have to work very hard to be absolutely sure that we have the squad that we need for the Premier League.”
Despite being keen on bringing in new faces to the London Stadium the manager wanted to make sure the right signings were made. “We want to make sure we don’t make a mistake in the makeup of the squad.”
Hammers have also been monitoring several players including Corinthians forward Ángel Romero as well as FC Barcelona midfielder André Gomes.