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NUFC clash not make or break for us - Pellegrini.

WEST Ham boss Manuel Pellegrini has played down the significance of his side's clash against Newcastle United this weekend.

Both sides sit on 12 points but have suffered contrasting Novembers - Newcastle picking up three wins in three to West Ham picking up four points from nine.

Pellegrini saw his side thrashed 4-0 against Manchester City last weekend, with some fans criticising the Chilean, especially after he spent more than PS100m in the summer.

But despite a hint of discontent from some section of the West Ham support, Pellegrini rejects the idea that the game against Newcastle is the make or break of either team's season.

"We need to play 24 games after Saturday, so it's not a crucial match for both teams," he said in his pre-game press conference.

"It's a test for what we can do this season. Momentum is always important to teams and they have trust at this moment because they are winning.

"Every game is different and things change so quickly in football, so you are never sure how the match will turn out."

Benitez, despite going 10 games without a win, has always had the backing of the United faithful, and leads his side into the game full of confidence.

Having seen his side beat Burnley 2-1 at Turf Moor, building on victories over Bournemouth and Watford, United have gone through an amazing transformation.

Pellegrini, though, believes that such a turn in form was inevitable.

"Newcastle have a good team so maybe their position in the table at this moment is more real than what happened at the beginning of the season."

For West Ham fans, a win would be welcome not only for their current league position but also to break the record of one win in 20 years at St James' Park.

That came in November 2012, as former United captain Kevin Nolan grabbed the only goal of the game.

Pellegrini confirmed that Andy Carroll was back in the squad, while Marko Arnautovic is in contention to return to the starting 11 after picking up a knock.

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Manuel Pellegrini

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Nov 30, 2018
Words:348
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