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Pellegrini ‘delighted’ with first game of pre-season despite defeat to Swiss minnows

West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini says he is delighted with the Hammers opening game of pre-season despite having lost 3-2 to Swiss minnows FC Winterthur. 

Pellegrini’s men took on the Swiss Challenge League side earlier this afternoon, with the Argentine fielding a strong side for his first game in charge since taking over from David Moyes earlier this year.

The XI, consisting of Pablo Zabaleta, Declan Rice, Arthur Masuaku and Andy Carroll amongst others however were unable to secure victory at the Stadion Schutzenwiese, with Winterthur running out 3-2 winners.

Davide Calla gave the hosts the lead on 25 minutes, before Andy Carrol made it level only eight minutes later with an easy tap-in from Edimilson Fernandes’ driven cross.

Manuel Sutter restored Winterthur’s lead five minutes later, and Jordan Gele made it 3-1 after 74 minutes. Mark Noble slotted a home a late penalty to complete the scoring and bring to an end what was seemingly a miserable afternoon for the Hammers.

Pellegrini however says he is not worried about the result, and insists that the fixture was a ‘good run out’ for his players against what he called a ‘technically good’ opposition.

“That was a very good game, a useful game,” said Pellegrini following the defeat, “They worked the whole week and on Thursday and Friday they had three training sessions on the same day, so to finish the week playing against a team with a good technical level was very useful for us.”

A number of Pellegrini’s biggest stars missed the game in northern Switzerland through injury, including Michail Antonio, Winston Reid and Aaron Cresswell.

And while the Argentine insists such players remain part of his plans, the former Manchester City boss hinted that reinforcements will be coming to the club shortly to both help combat the injury problems within the squad and help add quality ahead of the new campaign.

He continued: “I hope that, next week, or before we finish July, the fans of West Ham will have good news. We are trying to build a strong squad and to find the players that we need.

“Probably we are going to see new faces soon.”