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Antonio discusses injury recovery and aims for West Ham’s season

West Ham’s debut season at the London Stadium was certainly traumatic at times but the Hammers did have a bright spark in the form of Michail Antonio, who finished the campaign as the club’s top-scorer and was a useful asset due to his versatility.

Speculation mounted on the former Nottingham Forest man’s future ahead of the transfer window but he tied himself down to Slaven Bilic’s side in May, penning a lucrative new deal, and the fact he earned his new deal whilst being injured for the remainder of the season shows the faith the club have in the 27-year-old.

Antonio is still working on recovering from the injury that ended his campaign last season prematurely and he should find plenty of attacking support at the club next season, following the summer acquisitions of Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez.

Those attacking signings, added to the additions of Joe Hart and Pablo Zabaleta, raise optimism in East London ahead of the new campaign and Antonio revealed he’s hoping for the club to push into the European spots.

Speaking to The Daily Mail, he said:

‘I’m not saying we are going to win the league. But you can’t guarantee those top six places will stay the same because a team could have six injuries in the first six games and football is unpredictable. We are never going to rule it out but we have to play at the level we can do.’

On the matter of injuries, Antonio discussed his battle to return to fitness and the sacrifices he has made to prepare himself for the new Premier League campaign- even taking a physio on his stag do this summer.

‘I went to Las Vegas – the only place you can have a stag do! We were there for seven days. There were all my boys and Fraser the physio! I was doing workouts pre and after celebrations. I was up for 10am every day for sessions.’

Antonio is unlikely to be able to take to the field this weekend against Manchester United but his hard work means he should be able to feature in the trip to Southampton the following week, which will provide the Hammers with a vital boost.

It also means that Antonio should be firing on all cylinders by the time West Ham’s first home match of the season comes around, as the Hammers are playing their first three games away from home due to the World Athletic’s Championships being held at the London Stadium.