Antonio - We deserved more

Michail Antonio was left disappointed as the Hammers were held by Arsenal
Michail Antonio says West Ham United need to learn how to close out games after allowing Arsenal to come from behind and snatch a 3-3 Barclays Premier League draw on Saturday.

The Hammers drew for the fourth game in succession, having led in all four – the Emirates FA Cup sixth-round tie at Manchester United and subsequent league games at Chelsea and home to Crystal Palace and Arsenal.

And the No30 says he and his teammates will have to find a way of stopping their opponents from getting back into things if they are to maintain their challenge for a UEFA Champions League place and reach the FA Cup final.

“It’s one of those things where it’s happened to us in the last four games, where we’ve had the lead and we didn’t manage to hold on,” he observed. “We’ve just got to find that solidity at the back and not let any more goals in. We’ve not had a clean sheet in a while now, so that’s got to be our next plan.”

On Saturday, West Ham’s cause was not helped by a wrongly disallowed ‘goal’ scored by Manuel Lanzini while the game was goalless.

Arsenal took advantage to go two goals up, before Andy Carroll’s eight-minute hat-trick turned things around, only for the Gunners to grab a point through Laurent Koscielny’s 70th-minute equaliser.

“We definitely feel we should have had all three points,” Antonio continued. “We started quite slowly but once we got into the game, we had more opportunities than they did.

“There were a couple of other situations that we feel should have gone our way, but that’s just one of those things where it’s part and parcel of football. In the last four games it’s happened to us, but we’ve just got to take it and move on.”

Antonio started Saturday’s game at right wing-back, before reverting to his recent right-back role as Slaven Bilic switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation after the break.

The tactical change paid off as West Ham stormed forward, with the Londoner providing the cross for Carroll to power the hosts into the lead.

“Andy was outstanding, as you could see,” said Antonio. “You don’t get a hat-trick without performing well and he did what we know he can do.

“When you hang it up to the back post, there is no-one who can hold him and no-one who can stop him.

“At the start, we were playing with the ball too much and not really getting it out wide and getting crosses in the box, and you know if you’re not getting crosses in the box, it’s not going to help Andy’s game. We started sticking it in and he started putting it in the back of the net.”

Next up is an FA Cup replay with Manchester United at the Boleyn Ground on Wednesday evening – a game Antonio and everyone in Claret and Blue is relishing.

“We’ve shown this season that we’re not scared of anyone who comes here, and even away from home we know we’re good enough to play anyone in the Premier League.

“We’re going to keep pushing and keep fighting and try to get as high as possible in the league.”