New Spurs boss Mourinho is not ‘enemy’ says West Ham’s Pellegrini ahead of big derby
PUBLISHED: 13:30 22 November 2019
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West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini insisted new Tottenham Hotspur boss Jose Mourinho is not an ‘enemy’ ahead of the London derby this weekend.
The Hammers will welcome Spurs and their new manager Mourinho to the London Stadium on Saturday for an early kick-off (12.30pm) as they look to end a six-game winless run in the Premier League.
It will be a tough challenge, though, as 56-year-old Mourinho has won his first match in charge of every club he has managed in his career.
"He is not my friend but he is not my enemy either," Pellegrini revealed.
"Maybe I think a different way, but he is not my enemy. Everyone has their options to play football the way they want and what they want to say."
The former Manchester City boss doesn't feel it will be a harder game after the news of a managerial change this week, but knows it will offer a different challenge.
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The Chilean added: "Not more difficult, maybe different as I think the philosophy of Mauricio Pochettino is not the same as Mourinho, but he is just in charge of the team for two days so I don't think he can change too much, they will play in a similar way.
"That is not an important problem for us to solve, we must give a good performance as a team.
"Tottenham has a very good team with important players. You cannot know what has happened there, but the results were not what they are used to having."
West Ham have been handed a double injury boost ahead of the clash with Michail Antonio and captain Mark Noble back available for selection.
"Yes, both of them worked the whole week without any problem so they will be involved in the game on Saturday. Most of them (the team) will be able to play," said Pellegrini, who also believes the international break has been good for his squad to talk and work on things to turn their fortunes around.
"I trust a lot in our players because we have shown a lot of times we can do it against big teams," he added.
"Over the international break we had time to talk about a lot of things with the players. I hope that we will see the West Ham we saw at the beginning of the season."
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