The No30, who continued his fine scoring form with two more goals in Wednesday’s fundraising match at Chigwell Construction Stadium, believes the squad’s visit to Florida was just what was needed after three disappointing Premier League defeats.
And Antonio believes the Claret and Blue Army will see the effects of that when they kick-off a vital eight-match run-in at home to Southampton a week on Saturday.
It’s not just us or just the fans in this situation, we’re all in this situation together so we’ll keep fighting and keep pushing together
“Going away got the boys to gel together and kind of bond,” he revealed. “Every day you come to training, you can come in and not really speak to players and there was be a bad vibe going around as we’re not winning games.
“The gaffer thought to take us away and change the mood, get a bit of sun into our systems and play a couple of bonding games and then we could come back and kick forward.
“The atmosphere is good. We went out there and we’ve come back in a good place. All the boys are enjoying and hopefully we can go out there and show what we can do.”
The forward, who netted in the recent defeats at Liverpool and Swansea City, also implored the Club’s supporters to get behind the players as they fight to keep West Ham in the Premier League.
“The message is ‘Don’t give up on us’ as in the situation we’re in, we’re going to need them. It’s not just us or just them in this situation, we’re all in this situation together so we’ll keep fighting and keep pushing together.”
Antonio is arguably in his best form of a season that has been affected by a succession of niggly injuries, having found the net four times in his last four appearances, including Wednesday’s win at east London neighbours Dagenham & Redbridge.
The hosts’ competitive approach made for a good workout for David Moyes’ men on a night when the cash-strapped National League side raised much-needed revenue.
The 28-year-old said every West Ham player would have benefitted from the game, too.
“To be honest, it was a decent game. They turned up and they tried to play a bit of football, so it was all positive, there was a nice vibe and we enjoyed it.
“I hate to see other football clubs struggling, especially with me coming from non-league, so it’s just one of those things where any way we could help, we can.
“I feel I’ve got the goals in me to keep West Ham up. I’ve got nine goals in each of the last two seasons and this season hasn’t been going well for me as I’ve had quite a few injuries, but I’ve come back now and scored two goals in the league and got a couple today, so hopefully I can keep pushing forward.”