WEST Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini admitted he was happy to avoid becoming the latest scalp of giantkillers Newport County AFC at Rodney Parade.

Leeds United, Leicester City and Middlesbrough have all been dumped out of the FA Cup at the home of the Exiles over the past two seasons.

But goals from Jack Wilshere and Pablo Fornals ensured that West Ham progressed in the Carabao Cup.

“I think for 45 minutes we had some problems defending against a team like Newport who have such a direct style with so many crosses into the box,” said the Hammers boss.

“But in the second half we improved a lot. At the end they had one chance, but I was happy with the second half.

“I’m very happy because a lot of time in these games you start thinking that, because it’s League Two, it will be an easy game and normally you lose those games.

“I think that the attitude was very good of all the players.”

But the Chilean, who won the EFL Cup twice with Manchester City, was full of praise for Michael Flynn’s team.

“Congratulations to Newport because the pitch was a very good pitch to play on,” he said.

“Normally maybe in League Two [it is not so good] but we are in summer, in winter it may be not so good!

“It was a very good pitch and the atmosphere was fantastic.

“They had a couple of opportunities but we knew they would.

“If you review the history here, they lost against Manchester City in minute 91 and 93, they draw with Tottenham, they beat Middlesbrough and they beat Leicester.

“And in the last five games, they conceded just two goals so we knew beforehand that it was a tough game and that’s why I’m happy to be in the next round and to eliminate this good team.”

South Wales Argus:

Wilshere, who scored his first goal for the Londoners, was happy with the performance.

“I think we did a professional job,” said the former Arsenal midfielder.

“We had to match them physically and be up for the fight and I thought we did that.”

West Ham captain Pablo Zabaleta added: “We knew that we needed to score first.

“The first 10 or 15 minutes they put some pressure on us with some long balls and we knew before the game that it would be a difficult place to play, especially against teams that play so direct.

“I thought we kept the ball well. We dominated the whole second half and it’s job done.”

Read more: Newport County boss rues luck after defeat to West Ham United