Antonio looking forward to Ewood return

The winger scored a brace on his last visit to Sunday's opponents Blackburn
Ahead of the Hammers journey to Lancashire to face Blackburn Rovers in the fifth round of the Emirates FA Cup, in-form winger Michail Antonio is looking forward to returning to Ewood Park.

Last season, the 25-year-old scored an impressive brace for Nottingham Forest which included an 88th minute equaliser in a thrilling 3-3 encounter.

Looking ahead to Sunday’s cup tie, Antonio is hoping to add to his tally of four goals: “Last time I played at Ewood Park I scored two goals so it’ll be nice going back there. One was a header; one was a volley from 25 yards out so, hopefully, I can do that again!

“Blackburn are a side where they are going to throw everything at us. They’ll think ‘Ah, they’re a Premier League team, we’ve got nothing to lose here, and the pressure is off us.’

“So the pressure will be on us, especially with the form we are in right now. Having said that, I think it’ll be a decent game.”

The Londoner has already made his mark in the Hammers’ blossoming cup run with a fine volley against Liverpool in the fourth round replay to set up one of the most memorable game under the lights at the Boleyn in recent times.

And while such an important goal may have bloated some egos, Antonio is keeping his feet firmly on the ground: “For the rest of the season, I just want to keep performing well, try and stay in the team and I’ll probably set more goals for myself next season.

“Right now I’m just focused on staying in the team; keep playing well and try and improving.”
While the winger is impressively level headed, he can’t help but be drawn in the history and the romanticism of the FA Cup.

He continued: “It’s very important, growing up everyone watched the FA Cup, everyone believes that it’s one of those cups where anything can happen.

“I’d go FA Cup over a top six finish. It’s one of those things where you don’t get remembered for coming sixth, but if you win the FA Cup everyone remembers that, you have a medal to show for the rest of your life. As a kid you always dream of playing in it and as a player you always dream to win it.”