The West Ham United board are desperate for a cup run this season, according to journalist Sam Inkersole.
The Football.London correspondent revealed that Manuel Pellegrini is set to take the cups more seriously to avoid the embarrassment that was the Hammers’ defeat against Wimbledon last season.
Inkersole reported that now the Chilean has more options to rotate his squad, both the League Cup and the FA Cup are big priorities.
Responding to a question on a Q&A on Football.London’s live blog (14/08 14:39 pm) Inkersole said: “A big one. The Hammers top brass are desperate for a cup run and I can’t imagine a repeat of the Wimbledon debacle in the FA Cup last season. Pellegrini will take the competitions a lot more seriously this season.”
West Ham learnt their first task in the League Cup on Tuesday night, with a hard trip to League Two club Newport County in the second round.
A cup run should always be an important part of any mid-table Premier League side. West Ham have shown no signs of pushing towards the top seven and European football in recent seasons, but have also not really gotten close to anywhere silverware on top of that. After the defeat to Wimbledon last season, it became apparent that Pellegrini most likely used that as motivation to push towards an attempt to earn some silverware. As mentioned, their strengthening in the transfer window should allow them to field stronger sides in the cup – as well as giving certain youngsters opportunities. It is all about finding the right blend of youth and experience to get through the tough early ties. Newport, their first opponents, proved last season that they are no pushovers when they beat Leicester City, and Pellegrini must be smart in his selections to avoid that same result. West Ham must surely give experience the chance to shine in the cup, and maybe hold youngsters back against Newport, with their blend of physicality and directness possibly too big of a challenge for them right now.