Antonio hails Bilic influence

Michail Antonio was one of the second-half heroes of West Ham United's victory at the Etihad Stadium, but he says it's the Hammers manager who deserves the credit for the Club's away success‎ this season.

West Ham became the first Club since 2004 to record away victories at ‎Arsenal, Liverpool and Man City, and the speedy winger says Slaven Bilic has been the architect of that success.

"No-one's done it for ten years, so it has to be put down to him", said the powerful winger. 

"He's told us our shape, he told us what we need to do to stay compact, what we need to do to counteract what they do, cos they're quality players and they move the ball sharply, but we've managed to come out and do it."

Antonio came on to replace Victor Moses on the hour mark, and admitted it was daunting making his debut for West Ham in such circumstances. 

The deadline day signing from Nottingham Forest said: "I thought I'd get thrown in at the Newcastle game and get warmed up to it. But I was thrown in at the deep end. 

"To be honest all my career I've done that. My first ever league debut was at Elland Road. My first game for Sheffield Wednesday was the Steel City derby. So I kind of get thrown in to the big games all the time."

Antonio played his part in a stirring second half display as the Hammers withstood everything Manchester City could throw at them.

"I didn't manage to get forward as much I'd have liked to," he said, "but I managed to put in a shift for the team, and we managed to get the three points."

He rejected the idea that Man City were unfortunate not to win the game.

"It's now how City didn't win the game, it's about how we set up and how we performed. We didn't make it easy for them, we were hard to break down. They had opportunities because we stayed deep to defend the lead."

Antonio explained the secret of West Ham's success away from home this season at some of the Premier League's biggest teams:

"We've got our own game plan and we don't worry about the team that we're playing. We understand that they're good, big teams but we come out and we set our own tone. 

"It doesn't matter where we are, we go out to win. And we showed that at Liverpool, City and Arsenal.

"We know what we've got to do and we've got to put it on the pitch, and we have in those games.

However, despite West Ham rising to second in the table, the 25-year old says the players are keeping their feet on the ground.

"We're not going to get excited and say we're going to win the league. We're just going to come out and take every game as it goes.

"Our next game is Norwich in the league, and we're going to go out and try and get three points there.

"I'm not a person to speculate and see the future. I'm a person who says: next game, concentrate on that, and once you've done that, you worry about the next game."

And after making his first appearance at the Etihad Stadium from the bench, Antonio said he will keep pushing for a first team place.

"We've got quality forwards", he said. "It's a challenge, and I love a challenge. So hopefully I can keep pushing them, keep knocking on the door, and hopefully my opportunity will come."

For now, however, Antonio is content to bask in a famous victory with his fellow team-mates.

"Everyone is celebrating, everyone is buzzing . Literally we can't believe what we've done the last three games.

"Liverpool, Arsenal and Man City away. Before the season, you would not think of getting three points at those three grounds. But we've done it now and all we need to do now is push on."

*West Ham United wore their new 2015/16 Umbro third kit for the first time on Saturday. Order yours right now online here!