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Mikey: “I need to get that goal”

By Hughie Southon

Michail Antonio  admits that Nottingham Forest has always had a fond place in his heart.

The 32 year old striker arrived at the Hammers on deadline day of Slaven Bilic time in charge and has been a brilliant servant to the club from that day to this.

There was a moment in the winter when it looked as though who could be on his way to Wolves after making it clear he wanted more minutes following the arrival of Gianluca Scamacca.

Via the Italian’s injury he is getting them and is clearly hoping he will be involved in the game against his former club this weekend.

In his one season at the club he made 50 appearances at the club scoring 16 goals along the way and has managed 58 in his 217 since arriving at the Irons.

Admitting his time at the City Ground was a highlight for him he told the Hammers official site: ” I had a great time at Nottingham Forest. I loved every moment of being in that club, but obviously, when the Premier League come calling you have to answer!

But it’s always got a fond place in my heart, I’ve always looked out for their score to see how they’re doing and when I saw that they got promoted I was buzzing for them.

Stuart Pearce signed me and he gave me my opportunity there. Forest was a club always around the Play-Offs and when they came in, my manager at Sheffield Wednesday said he needed to sell me to bring in players, so I ended up leaving and it was probably the best thing for me as they had better players and I had to lift my own game.

We had Henri Lansbury, Chris Cohen, Andy Reid, Britt Assombalonga, Jack Hobbs, Michael

I look at Nottingham Forest now and I think they’re a decent team.

I think they’ve made a load of signings by normally it backfires when teams do that, but obviously they’re doing alright and drew Man City last weekend so whatever their philosophy is, it’s working out for them.

Jesse Lingard, André Ayew and Cheikhou Kouyaté are there. I love Cheikhou, he is a great character, and to be fair, I hung around with André quite a bit and we went to France together one weekend, just to have some nice food and a night out in Paris. That was nice, to experience a new place.

And then obviously, Jesse is an actual legend. I saw him recently at a concert and really get along with him as well, but when you’re an easy-going person, everyone likes you!

Antonio and Kouyate

As a striker, as a professional, you want to do the job that you are being paid to do. It’s not just  scoring goals as a striker, it’s the hold-up play and a number of other things that I’ve been bringing to the game in the last few games.

But as a striker, you always want to score and the last goal I scored was against Derby, but I’ve not scored for a while in the Premier League. I need to break the cycle, I need to get that goal so I can go on a run and help lift this team out of the situation we are in.

I scored some important goals to keep us up in 2020 and I believe lightning will strike twice. I know I’ve got the ability to do it, I know I can do it.

I feel like my hold-up play is doing well and that’s why I’m getting opportunities. I’m helping to bring the team together, I’m creating chances for other people, so it’s just getting those chances for myself. But if we keep playing well then the opportunities will come and that’s what I believe in.

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About Hugh5outhon1895

Hugh Southon is a lifelong Iron and the founding editor of ClaretandHugh. He is a national newspaper journalist of many years experience and was Bobby Moore's 'ghost' writer during the great man's lifetime. He describes ClaretandHugh as "the Hammers daily newspaper!" Follow on Twitter @hughsouthon