Reggae Boy striker Michail Antonio’s hopes of answering his critics and rediscovering his goal-scoring touch for his English Premier League club West Ham United ahead of the busy holiday period have received a setback after the club announced 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.
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 Boys 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.”
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.”
The Hammers are at home in the league on Boxing Day against Southampton, where Antonio enjoyed a spell on loan from Reading in 2009/10.