West Ham United Manager David Moyes has offered some good news to fans on the fitness of key winger Michail Antonio ahead of this weekend’ Premier League clash away at Brighton & Hove Albion.
When asked about when the former Nottingham Forest man might be back in the frame, at his Pre-Brighton & Hove Albion Press Conference at Rush Green on Friday, which MooreThanJustAClub were fortunate enough to be in, Moyes proclaimed,
“We hope Michail Antonio will have a chance of being available”.
Antonio had been tipped to return to the Squad for last Tuesday’s visit of Crystal Palace to the London Stadium, but missed out after turning up late to a team meeting and the Hammers Boss was all too happy to elaborate further on the incident,
“One was training, and we give the players plenty of leeway to get on in time to training, so they get plenty of time and the game one was, he didn’t turn up at the right location and he didn’t turn up on time”, stated the former Manchester United Manager.
“So, simple as that, it’s got to be something which everybody at the club understands, it’s not going to be any other way, it’s going to be done correctly or it’s not going to be done at all.”
Moyes continued, “And if they don’t do it correctly then, either they won’t be involved, or they won’t play, or they’ll be getting fined regular”.
But, just how did the 2016/2017 Hammer of the Year take Moyes’ decision to leave him out of the Eagles clash? A game that West Ham went on to draw 1-1 in.
“Michail was great, Michail came to see me right before the game actually to tell me that he was really sorry, he says he’s someone whose very punctual.
“Albeit he hadn’t, I think I told you this story after, but he was late twice in the week.
The Scotsman then conveyed the importance of having Antonio around, “To be fair, let me tell you, he was massively regretful after and to be fair, we need him and we want him back because he’s important to us”.
The winger has endured an injury-hit campaign so far, failing to reach the heights of his nine goals in the previous term, netting only one in an away draw at Turf Moor.
Due to his various different knocks, Antonio has featured sparsely under the nan who has turned things around in East London since replacing Slaven Bilic back in November 2017.
West Ham sit 12th in the Premier League and a win at the Amex Stadium tomorrow afternoon could be enough to propel them up into the top-half permanently for the first time in 2017/2018.
To do this, they may well need the help of the electric Antonio off the bench and there is little doubt that both manager and player will be hoping that he can stay fit in the final few months to aid with the fight for survival.
However, will Antonio be able to make the difference against Chris Hughton’s men on the South Coast? Think you know? Be sure to head over to @MooreThanAClub on Twitter to cast your late score predictions and join the pre-match discussion.