West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini has praised substitutes Mark Noble and Michail Antonio for their impact in the club’s 2-2 draw with Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday night.
The Hammers found themselves 2-0 down in the Premier League clash before a quick-fire Marko Arnautovic double ensured the hosts shared the spoils.
While West Ham fans will be frustrated by their side’s inability to go on and win the game, the nature of the side’s fightback will be a positive from the game.
Noble and Antonio both played roles in the Irons goals and were singled out for praise by Pellegrini in the aftermath of the clash.
“I think both Noble and Antonio came into the game very well,” the West Ham manager told the club’s official website.
“They changed the face of the team. We needed to make changes. We have played nine games with our matches since December.
“We needed to make the substitutes because it’s impossible to keep playing matches with the same players.”
Noble’s position as an ever-present in the West Ham side has come under threat, with injuries and the form of others meaning the captain is no longer an automatic choice in the West Ham starting XI.
Antonio’s future at the London Stadium was questioned in the summer, but injuries to the likes of Manuel Lanzini and Andriy Yarmolenko has opened the door for the speedy Englishman to play a role for the Hammers.
West Ham were on an excellent run of form but a defeat to Burnley and this draw against Brighton has put the breaks on the side’s momentum, with an FA Cup clash against Birmingham City next up for Pellegrini’s men.