Antonio – We’re concentrating on starting strongly

  • Antonio makes second appearance in two days in Austria
  • West Ham lose to Rubin Kazan with game against Karlsruher SC next up
  • Hammers No30 feeling benefit of intensive Austrian training camp
Michail Antonio says the hard work the Hammers are putting in will pay off when their season kicks-off with a UEFA Europa League third qualifying round tie next Thursday.
Antonio and his teammates faced a second game in as many days when they took on Rubin Kazan on Wednesday, added to five training sessions since their arrival in Austria on Sunday.
The result may have gone Rubin Kazan’s way – the Russian side ran out 3-0 victors – but Antonio knows the pieces are coming together and that Slaven Bilic’s men will get better with each passing day in pre-season.
“This camp is what you need at this time of year,” he said. “All you’ve got to do is concentrate on getting ready for the season and making sure we start well.
“Right now we’re out here getting ready and getting fit to push on and ensure we start the season raring to go.
“We’ve had a couple of players come back this week – me, Tore, Cheikhou who have met back up with the boys and started to play games together.
“We’ve come out here with a couple of young kids as well and it’s good to give them experience travelling with the first team.
“We’re all gelling and just have to keep pushing on and making things better for ourselves and hopefully we can get a win [on Saturday].”
The Hammers play the third and final match of their tour to Austria on Saturday when they take on one of Bilic’s former clubs Karlsruher SC and Antonio is already itching to get back out onto the pitch.
He added: “We’ve got another game on Saturday and we’re looking forward to it. We’ll go back, we’ll train again tomorrow and Friday before going again for the game. There’s no rest for the wicked and we’ll just keep pushing on.
“This week is all about preparing for the Europa League game next week. That’s what we’re doing, we want to go as far as we can in it.”