December 28, 2018 / 7:36 AM / 19 days ago

Soccer: Improving Anderson can offer more for Pellegrini's West Ham

(Reuters) - West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini has demanded more from Felipe Anderson despite the midfielder’s double strike in Thursday’s 2-1 Premier League victory at Southampton.

Soccer Football - Premier League - Southampton v West Ham United - St Mary's Stadium, Southampton, Britain - December 27, 2018 West Ham manager Manuel Pellegrini applauds fans after the match REUTERS/Hannah McKay

West Ham were trailing 1-0 in the second half before Anderson struck twice in a six-minute span to seal all three points but Pellegrini said the Brazilian needed to work on aspects of his game to improve further.

“He must understand the Premier League is difficult if you keep the ball at your feet,” Pellegrini told Sky Sports.

“He is a different player, a player that in every game makes important plays... he loses too many balls; he will continue improving.”

Anderson joined West Ham for a reported 36 million pounds ($45.60 million) from Lazio in the close season but struggled to make an immediate impact, scoring once in 10 league games.

However, he has emerged as West Ham’s top scorer with eight league goals so far, including seven in his last nine appearances.

“His run of goals is important for him and the team,” Pellegrini added.

“It’s not easy for a midfield player to score so many goals by this stage of the season. He can change the score of the game in any moment.”

West Ham have won five out their six matches in December to climb to ninth in the table on 27 points from 19 games. They travel to Burnley on Sunday.

($1 = 0.7895 pounds)

Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien

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