West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini believes he has improved the club’s style of play in his 18-month tenure at the London Stadium.
The 66-year-old is under pressure after a run of one win from West Ham’s last 10 matches in the Premier League, which has seen the Hammers fall to 16th in the table.
A defeat away to Southampton on Saturday may result in the east Londoners dropping into the bottom three.
Since goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski suffered a torn hip muscle, West Ham have struggled for consistency, but Pellegrini highlighted their form at the end of last season and the start of this term as evidence they have progressed under his management.
“I think that this season we have improved a lot,” he said. “If you join the last four games of last season with the seven first games of the season, in 11 games I think that we lost one, we drew four and we won six.
“So it was demonstrated that for a long time, the team was playing the way you want. With that amount of points, maybe you finish the season with 68 or 69 points.
“Something happened – a lot of different things that we know happened – and we must try to solve it.”
With West Ham one point above the bottom three, there is an argument to say they are in a relegation battle.
Premier League winner Pellegrini was hired to take the Hammers from mid-table mediocrity and turn them into challengers for a European spot.
Currently West Ham are eight points off Wolves in sixth and the Chilean is aware that is too big a gap.
“I accept that we are not in the moment or in the way that I expected,” Pellegrini added.
“Yes of course I accept that. I have never not accepted criticism. Of course I didn’t fight relegation.
“I always said from the beginning that I came here to try to improve, with a team to try to play another way to the way that West Ham had played in all the other seasons.
“Not for just fighting relegation, I don’t think this is my goal and if I am not in that position, of course I’m not happy this season.”
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