Manuel Pellegrini

Manuel Pellegrini admits West Ham must improve following their opening 4-0 defeat by Liverpool on Super Sunday.

West Ham fielded five debutants at Anfield, but their high line was routinely picked off as Mo Salah, Sadio Mane (two) and Daniel Sturridge scored.

Pellegrini, speaking after his first competitive match in charge of the Hammers, is sure West Ham are moving in the right direction, but could not excuse the poor start.

He told Sky Sports: “We need to improve. We didn’t play well, we didn’t create too many chances apart from the first 15 minutes of the second half. So we need to continue working.

“I must be clear, we need to improve and need to play better. Liverpool deserved to win.

“Of course we are absolutely positive, we are not going to crush that optimism. It is the first game of the season, we have nine new players, we play against one of the best, if not the best, teams in the league.

“We are not happy, we don’t want to lose 4-0, but we are sure we are in the correct way and will continue working.”

Mane’s second goal was clearly offside, but Pellegrini feels his first, on the stroke of half-time was the biggest psychological blow for the visitors.

“We started the second half and they scored a clear offside goal. Too much offside. But those things happen in football.

“Maybe for me the second goal was more psychological because it was the last second of the first half. Arriving in 2-0 down instead of 1-0 down.”

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