David Moyes hoping for Michail Antonio return from Covid in Boxing Day clash

The Hammers are due to face Southampton.
Michail Antonio is hoping to return to action against Southampton on Boxing Day (Nick Potts/PA

Michail Antonio is hoping to return to action against Southampton on Boxing Day (Nick Potts/PA

By Mark Walker, PA Sport

West Ham boss David Moyes is hoping Michail Antonio will be available to face Southampton on Boxing Day after recently testing positive for coronavirus.

Antonio, who has scored six Premier League goals this season, missed the Carabao Cup defeat to Tottenham on Wednesday night, but Moyes has not yet ruled him out for Sunday.

Moyes said: “The answer is I don’t know. The (isolation) changes in the rules, he has no symptoms and I have to say he is double vaccinated.

“It is not someone who has got it, who is not (vaccinated). He is vaccinated and so with all the those, hopefully there is a good chance we might have him back.”

Hopefully there is a good chance we might have him back

David Moyes on Michail Antonio

Moyes did not feel his side’s Carabao Cup exit after a 2-1 defeat to their London rivals was solely down to Antonio’s absence.

“I think it was probably part of it, but I think also missing Aaron Cresswell, Kurt Zouma, Angelo Ogbonna, Vladimir Coufal – so if we’re being serious it wasn’t down to one.

“We have missed a few, but this competition we have chopped and changed anyway and everyone that has played, whether at Old Trafford or the game at London Stadium (against Manchester City) have done really well.”

Moyes is also waiting to learn whether he can call on Cresswell against Southampton.

The left-back has missed the last six games in all competitions after colliding with a goalpost during last month’s defeat at Manchester City.

David Moyes is waiting to hear if Aaron Cresswell will be ready to return from injury for West Ham against Southampton (Justin Tallis/PA Images).

David Moyes is waiting to hear if Aaron Cresswell will be ready to return from injury for West Ham against Southampton (Justin Tallis/PA Images).

“I don’t know if you would call it on his rib or vertebrate,” Moyes said. “I don’t know what exactly the terminology would be.

“But he has got something which is a problem and he is feeling it. We didn’t expect it to be too long and we hoped it wouldn’t, but it has just taken a little longer than we thought.”

The Hammers will be bidding to get back on track against the Saints in their pursuit of a top-four finish after winning only one of their last six league matches.

Moyes added: “We know we have to win the games. You’re not going to finish high up if you don’t.

“But we’ve got ourselves in a really good position, probably stronger than we were in this time last season.

“We’ve had a really good year to be honest and we want to finish it strongly and I want to go into next year knowing that I’ve got a team here that can compete and challenge and be successful.”


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