Lucas Perez: West Ham striker denies he refused to play at Everton

Manuel Pellegrini said he brought on Michail Antonio instead of Lucas Perez because the latter was not warming up at the time of the substitution

Manuel Pellegrini said he brought on Michail Antonio instead of Lucas Perez because the latter was not warming up at the time of the substitution

'In the moment that Marko got injured, I was on the bench after warming up.

He said Pellegrini initially called upon him before deciding it was instead quicker to introduce Antonio as the winger was ready to enter.

"The coach [Pellegrini] called me to go out and play - however, having realised that it was faster to substitute Antonio in, who at that moment was warming up, he changed his decision".

The striker said: "The images that have been misinterpreted correspond to a talk with the goalkeeper's coach, in which I never refused to warm up and explained what happened".

"My birthday is the last thing I was thinking about!"

"You are the strongest person I know, you didn't say anything, continuing to work hard to show them your desire and fight to play, let your sister, mother and family in France, and I know how difficult it was..."

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"We believe in what we are doing and we are not going to change".

Arnautovic further emphasised his worth to West Ham in the 61st minute as he restored the two-goal advantage, meaning only Liverpool's Mohamed Salah has been involved in more Premier League goals in 2018 than Arnautovic.

The win is West Ham's first of the league season and sees them out of the relegation zone into 16 place while Everton are in tenth place.

"On some days maybe with West Ham 2-0 up they could come back but we must be able to repeat our performances".

"We had already taken too long over the substitution so I put Antonio on".

West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini has insisted that he does not have any problem with Lucas Perez following reports of a row during this afternoon's Premier League clash with Everton. "I'm convinced, and the players are convinced".

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