Michail Antonio

Antonio: Every game I go into, I believe I’m going to score

It is over 15 years since a teenage Michail Antonio made his professional debut but, at the age of 34, the forward is still at the top of his game.

Since making his bow for Cheltenham Town in February 2009 as an 18-year-old, Antonio has gone on to make over 550 club appearances in all competitions, won the EFL Trophy, the UEFA Europa Conference League, the Hammer of the Year award and become a Jamaica international and West Ham United’s all-time record Premier League goalscorer.

Antonio extended that record on Sunday, when his headed equaliser to secure a 2-2 home draw with Liverpool was his 67th Premier League goal for the Irons, putting him 20 ahead of previous holder Paolo Di Canio.

While fellow scorer Jarrod Bowen, who provided the cross for Antonio’s goal, joked that he would like to hold the record himself, the England international is 24 adrift on 43, and the veteran Jamaica international has no plans to hang up his scoring boots for some time yet.

I’ve got three goals in the last three games and I’m really building the confidence up
Michail Antonio

“I’ve got three goals in the last three games and I’m really building the confidence up and believe that, every game I go into, I’m going to score, so hopefully I can keep that run going!” he smiled.

That said, while Antonio is keen to keep the distance between himself and Bowen in the goalscoring race, the mutual respect between the two forwards was on display when Antonio spoke to BBC Match of the Day.

“One thing I know about Jarrod is that, if he is on his left foot and I’m in space, he’ll pick me out!” the No9 explained. “His left foot is unbelievable and it was an unbelievable cross. He is a massive player for us and key to how we play.”

Reflecting more widely on Sunday’s game, Antonio felt the east Londoners could be proud of the way they came back late on to prevent Liverpool from winning 

“It’s a massive point, especially after going 2-1 down” he observed. “We’re still fighting for Europe, but obviously we’ve made it difficult for ourselves with our recent results, and before the game anybody would take a point against Liverpool.

“But I feel that, over the last couple of years we’ve been doing better against Liverpool and have had a couple of results at home against them, so hopefully we can keep going, keep pushing and get that European slot.

“Liverpool were creating a lot of opportunities, getting it out wide and getting balls into our box and ‘Phonse was making some unbelievable saves. We managed to get the first goal, which Jarrod took unbelievably well, and one thing with us is that we’ll keep digging in and we keep believing we can get a goal, so when we went 2-1 down, we just kept pushing, made sure we didn’t concede another and managed to equalise.”