Backup goalkeeper Adrian is set to make his second appearance of the season having been in goal against AFC Wimbledon in the second round of the competition, and he is hoping to impress the boss in order to stake a claim for a permanent starting position.
The 31-year-old Spaniard is behind £7million summer signing Lukasz Fabianski in the pecking order, and given the excellent form of the Pole in the Premier League thus far, Adrian has a lot of convincing to do if he is to have any chances of displacing him.
“Obviously it’s not the best of scenarios for a goalkeeper [to be the back-up] because we want to play all the games but tonight’s game is an opportunity to show that Adrian is at a good level,” he told the club’s official website.
“I am still here and can help the team in the cup and, when I have the opportunity, I have to give my best to show the manager I’m in my top condition.
“In training, I am feeling better than ever! I’m in good shape and I’m training very well. The manager has decided to play with Lukasz in the league, but I need to keep my form in every opportunity I can and to show that I have a good level.”
This isn’t the first time Adrian has needed to prove himself in order to get into first-team contention.
The Spaniard displaced Joe Hart in goal at a point last season under former manager David Moyes, and an impressive performance on Wednesday night could leave Pellegrini with selection headaches going forward.
Given the quality of tonight’s opposition, West Ham remain favourites to advance to the last-16 round, and with the competition set to get tougher as the club progresses, stronger challenges await Adrian going forward in his mission to become a fixture in the lineup.