Pablo Zabaleta admits West Ham must improve if they are to avoid relegation this season, though he accepts that Manuel Pellegrini is not working with the quality he is used to.
The Hammers have lost all four of their Premier League games thus far this campaign, and endured a disappointing collapse against Wolves last time out, losing 1-0 in the final minute.
Reports have subsequently claimed that Pellegrini could be sacked, but it is understood that the cost of axing him would prove prohibitive, the Chilean having agreed a deal worth around £7 million ($9m).
The Hammers appointed Pellegrini due to his history of playing expansive, attractive football, having won the Premier League at Manchester City.
Zabaleta accepts that results thus far have not been up to scratch, but he has backed the Chilean to turn things around, despite working with a sub-par group of players, compared to the squad he had at his disposal at the Etihad Stadium.
“For the first time maybe he doesn’t have the same quality in the team like he had before. So maybe it’ll take more time than at other clubs for him to get everything right,” the right-back, who spent three years at City under Pellegrini, added.
“At Manchester City, there was so much quality, we won games easily. Here it’s not the same. But he’s a great man, a good manager and will try to find the best way to get the results.”
West Ham also struggled to get going last season, winning only one of their opening six matches, but they eventually finished 13th.
“It’s similar to last season when we didn’t start well and it was tough but we don’t want that. We’ve seen good teams going down before so we must fight," Zabaleta added.
“We’ve got the quality in the team but the players need to put in good performances... you trust in the way he (Pellegrini) works because of the teams he’s worked with before.”