Cape Town - West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini admits he is
relishing pitting himself in a tactical battle against Jose Mourinho when his
side face Tottenham on Saturday.
In a whirlwind week for Spurs, Mauricio Pochettino’s time in
north London was brought to an abrupt end, before former Chelsea and Manchester
United boss Mourinho was drafted in just 12 hours later.
Tottenham will be desperate to get off to a winning start
under the Portuguese tactician, while Pellegrini will be determined to end a
seven-match winless run in all competitions.
The pressure is mounting on the Chilean, but he is looking
forward to getting back into the thick of the Premier League action after the
international break against Mourinho’s Spurs.
“Tottenham have a very good team with some very good
players,” he told reporters. “Being outside of Tottenham we cannot know what is
happening. Pochettino was a manager who did a lot of good work for a lot of
years for Tottenham. Now they have another experienced manager, Jose Mourinho.
“Everyone has his option to play football the way they want,
to say what they want to say. He’s not my friend, but he’s not my enemy. We
have different ways of thinking about football. I think he only took charge
yesterday, so probably we will see Tottenham playing in a similar way.”
West Ham’s poor run of results has coincided with the loss
of first-choice keeper Lukasz Fabianski to injury, with Spanish keeper Roberto
being thrust into the limelight.
It’s now six weeks since the Poland international Fabianski
had surgery on a hip muscle and is believed to be edging closer to a return.
The experienced keeper is still expected to be out until the
new year, so Roberto will once again be between the sticks this weekend when Spurs
head to the London Stadium.
- TeamTalk Media