Michail Antonio determined to regain goalscoring touch

Michail Antonio of West Ham walks out onto the pitch during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Chelsea at London Stadium on December 04, 2021 in London, England.

Michail Antonio is a possibility for West Ham’s clash with Southampton on Sunday.

The striker’s hopes of answering his critics and rediscovering his goalscoring touch ahead of the busy holiday period were hamstrung last week with the announcement he had tested positive for COVID-19.

Manager David Moyes confirmed Antonio tested positive last week, “so he’s getting closer now, but obviously not for tonight [Wednesday]” when West Ham took on neighbours Tottenham Hotspur in the quarter-finals of the League Cup.

After the game, Moyes gave another update, suggesting Antonio was likely to play on Sunday because he was asymptomatic and double vaccinated.

 “The answer is ‘I don’t know’. He has no symptoms and is double vaccinated. Hopefully, there is a good chance we have him back,” Moyes had said.

UK-born Antonio, 31, scored six goals and had four assists in his opening seven appearances of this season, but has found the net just once in 12 games since and admits he has not been at his best lately.

Antonio, who has scored twice for the Reggae Boyz since making his Jamaica debut earlier this year, opening his account in his second appearance in November in a 1-1 draw against El Salvador, told the Hammers’ website: 

“I am confident in my ability, so I don’t need anybody to jump on me because I am jumping on myself already.

“I’m a person who demands the best from myself and I am getting frustrated in myself that I have not scored in so many games, so you don’t need to get on my back as I’m already on my own back.

“I am going to go out there, give my all and hopefully, this week, I can put the ball in the back of the net for me, for the team and for you guys.”

Michail Antonio of West Ham United control ball during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Chelsea at London Stadium on December 4, 2021 in London, England.

Those plans have been put on hold because of the virus which is sweeping British clubs.

But he has vowed to give everything to fire West Ham back to winning ways after Hammers’ slight dip in recent weeks which has seen them drop to fifth in the table.

The Jamaica international, voted Premier League Player of the Month for August, added: “You can see it in the last few games. We’ve managed to grind out some results, but our performances have dipped and we’ve not kind of lived up to the standards we set at the beginning of the season.

“The positives we can take from it are that, even though our performances have dipped, we haven’t dropped a long way down the league table. So when our performances do become better, we’re in a good place to bounce back.”

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