(Reuters) - West Ham United winger Michail Antonio believes he is finally firing on all cylinders for the London club after shaking off injuries that have halted his progress in the Premier League this season.
Antonio, 27, returned from a calf injury in February and has started just one of West Ham’s last four league games. Despite limited time on the pitch, he has found the net in 4-1 defeats at Liverpool and Swansea City.
“I’ve not had the opportunity to get into my stride and be the same player I was in the previous two seasons,” Antonio told the club’s website (www.whufc.com) ahead of Saturday’s league clash at home with Burnley.
“Every time I’ve got close to being myself again, I’ve picked up another niggle... it’s taken me half a season to get to a place where I feel comfortable, so hopefully I can stay fit and sharp for the remainder of the season.”
Antonio has made 19 league appearances for West Ham in the current campaign, with hamstring and rib injuries also keeping him out of action. His goals against Liverpool and Swansea in the last two games took his league tally to three.
“It’s disappointing that my goals are not winning games for us, so hopefully next time I score, it’ll be a winner,” he said.
“It’s taken a long time for me to get back to a point where I feel I can beat people and score goals, but my confidence is coming back and hopefully I can help the team get out of the situation that we’re currently in.”
West Ham are 14th in the league with 30 points, level with Swansea and Huddersfield Town and three points above the drop zone. Burnley are seventh with 40 points.
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis