Pellegrini believes ‘improving’ Hammers can finish in top six

West Ham United
Manuel Pellegrini will be hoping to avoid a Cup upset at Newport tonight.

 Manuel Pellegrini insists he will “always believe” his high-flying West Ham side can build on their fine start to the season and finish in the European spots.

The Hammers go into Saturday’s home clash with Crystal Palace at the London Stadium unbeaten in the Premier League since their 5-0 defeat to Manchester City on the opening day and expectation among fans is growing week by week.

Currently fifth, ahead of the likes of Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester United, Pellegrini is optimistic they can remain near the top of the table, boosted by the belief they are improving “a lot”.

With some of the big guns finding life a struggle this could be the Hammers’ best opportunity to push themselves into the top six or even higher if they continue to play well and their new signings start to settle.

“I always believe,” said the Chilean when asked whether the Hammers could finish in the top six, “in the way we are playing, I think that we are improving a lot and that’s one of the reasons why we believe we can do it.”

With several of the Premier League’s traditional big guns struggling for form at the start of the campaign, the opportunity could be there for the likes of West Ham to steal a march in the quest for European football.

Former Manchester City and Real Madrid boss Pellegrini prefers not to look too far ahead and knows there are lots of twists and turns along the way.

West Ham were dealt a blow against Bournemouth last week when goalkeeper LukaszFabianski picked up an injury while taking a goal-kick which could require surgery.

Pellegrini said the club’s medical staff would decide over the next few days whether an operation was needed, but added that either way Fabianski was expected to be out for three months and Roberto will take over between the sticks.

When asked whether he would be looking at other goalkeepers to bring in Pellegrini said: “We will decide after we know exactly how long Fabianski will be out.”