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Manuel Pellegrini believes West Ham can still fight for a European place this season despite their slow start to the campaign

Manuel Pellegrini believes West Ham can still fight for a European place this season despite their slow start to the campaign

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini insists the club can still achieve its aim of qualifying for European football despite the uncertainty over his future.

Pellegrini has found himself under increasing pressure at the London Stadium after a run of eight games without a win in all competitions and Sky Sports News understands David Moyes is being considered as a possible replacement for the Chilean.

The Hammers are now 17th in the Premier League, just three points above the relegation places, but Pellegrini believes he can still guide the club to European football.

“I came here to try to grow and take the next step with this club,” said Pellegrini. “To try to fight for a European spot. That is my mentality and we continue always with that mentality.

David Moyes is being considered as a possible replacement for Pellegrini at West Ham, should the Chilean be sacked

“I didn’t come here for the money and to try to not be relegated. For me, that is not the way to be working.

“Of course we had very good moments during last season. We finished the season very well with 10 points from 12 and we started this season very well. You are always optimistic that you can improve.

“We are not winning in this moment and we must we try to recover our performance and always have a winning mentality, an ambitious mentality.”

West Ham travel to face London rivals Chelsea on Saturday and Pellegrini is looking forward to facing Frank Lampard, who played under him at Manchester City.

“Frank was a pleasure to work with,” said Pellegrini.

West Ham face London rivals Chelsea on Saturday

“He was a top player his whole career, an intelligent player and he likes football so of course everyone knew in that moment that he was going to continue his career as a manager.

“I am very happy for him with the results that he is having at Chelsea.”

West Ham have been without first-choice goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski since September and Pellegrini hopes the Pole will return around Christmas after undergoing hip surgery.

He said: “The diagnosis of Lukasz is clear – after you have surgery, you need some amount of time to recover. So he is working the same way that we expected.

Pellegrini is hopeful Lukasz Fabianski can return from injury before Christmas

“We will see what the doctors say in the last month [of his recovery]. The first date that was around, was around Christmas, but we cannot give you an exact date.”

Fabianski’s understudy Roberto has faced intense criticism after conceding 15 goals in seven league appearances but Pellegrini believes the Spaniard is a better goalkeeper than his recent performances have suggested.

“Of course it is not a comfortable position,” said Pellegrini. “He knows exactly about his performance, he has a career behind him.

“He has been a very good player, playing for big teams, so of course he cannot be happy at the moment. But it is what has happened and he must try to improve.”