West Ham United striker Lucas Perez has slammed ‘false information’ he refused to warm up in the win over Everton.
West Ham ran out 3-1 winners at Goodison Park.
It was the club’s first Premier League points of the season under Manuel Pellegrini.
Victory lifted the Hammers off the foot of the table.
West Ham turned in their best performance of the season so far.
Andriy Yarmolenko netted a brace and Marko Arnautovic secured all three points with a fine third.
It was a real squad effort too as emphasised by the impact of sub Michail Antonio.
He did his bit to hold the ball up and kill the game off when introduced as a late substitute.
But originally it should have been former Arsenal striker Lucas Perez on the pitch, according to Pellegrini (Sky Sports).
Reporters on Sky Sports during the live game speculated Perez had refused to warm up.
That led to a backlash from supporters and criticism from a range of pundits and ex Hammers.
Perez has hit back angrily at those claims, though, labelling it ‘fake news’.
“Given the false information spread by the media that has affected my image I am obliged to explain the only truth: I have never ever refused to warm up in my whole career let alone play a match,” Perez said in a statement on Twitter.
‘I never refused to warm up and explained what happened’
“In my current club the players on the bench warm up in a series of three to five minutes in continuous rotation. In the moment that Marko got injured, I was on the bench after warming up.
“The coach called me to go out to play, however having realised that it was faster to substitute Antonio in, who at that moment was warming up, he changed his decision. 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.
“As a professional I accept the decision and I will continue working hard to have as many minutes as I can.”
— Lucas Pérez (@LP10oficial) September 17, 2018