Pablo Zabaleta

West Ham defender Pablo Zabaleta says the team is benefiting from Manuel Pellegrini’s attacking philosophy and the players are enjoying playing under him.

The former Manchester City and Real Madrid manager signed a three-year deal at the end of last season when David Moyes left after six months in charge.

West Ham lost their four Premier League games of the campaign but they have climbed into the top half of the table with 10 wins from 27 games.

Speaking ahead of West Ham’s trip to Manchester City on Wednesday, Zabaleta told Sky Sports News there is a feel-good factor in the dressing room.

“When you look at the teams Manuel has worked for in the past you can see he has got a very clear philosophy in terms of he wants,” the Argentine said.

“He always wants the team to attack, to be an attacking team, to play good football and defensively to work as a line with the back four.

“He came to West Ham and like every manager he just needed a period of time to show the players that this is the way he wants the team to play, to create an idea and a style of football that probably some of the players that were here haven’t done in the past.

“You can see we lost the first four consecutive Premier League games and it seems like there was so much talk about the manager but we’ve always been 100 per cent sure that it was a matter of time before we won a game to lift our confidence.

“When we lose and when we win he always seems like he’s still the same, he’s so calm in the bad moments.

“He always kept telling the players that we’re not going to change because we lost four games.

West Ham’s first league win under Pellegrini was a 3-1 win at Everton in September which was followed by another 3-1 victory at home to Manchester United later in the month.

Zabaleta recalls that Pellegrini never doubted they would turn their season around, and the 34-year-old believes the future is positive under the current regime.

“He (Pellegrini) said we’re going to go to Goodison Park and we’re going to win and we did.

“We won against Manchester United and since then we’ve kept improving and it seems like everyone’s enjoying it.

“He came in and he wants to make a strong team while thinking about the future, to build a team with young players with the next three or four years in mind.

“That is what the West Ham owners expect from the manager.”

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