Michail Antonio: I'm buzzing to win the award
There could be no doubting that the EA Sports Premier League Player of the Month award for July ended up in deserving hands.
Michail Antonio's impact for West Ham United in a pivotal month was plain to see as he helped fire David Moyes' men to safety.
Eight goals and an assist in a remarkable seven-game stretch tell the story as the Hammers No30 hit the form of his career at the perfect time for his team.
Having seen off the likes of Harry Kane, Anthony Martial and Raheem Sterling to claim the prize, Antonio was thrilled to have the trophy as a mark of his achievements.
"I’m buzzing to be fair," he said. "Obviously as a professional footballer you go out there and try your hardest and your best, so to get some recognition for it is amazing.
"When I was playing in non-league [I've had similar runs], but since my professional career started is definitely the best I’ve played and hopefully I can carry it on to next season.
"I’m a person who believes in positive thoughts bringing positive things so even when I was at Tooting & Mitcham I always said to myself I’m going to get to the Premier League. I think that if you believe it, it can be achievable.
"I always believed I had the confidence and ability to get there and now I’ve had that opportunity. It’s crazy that I’ve been here for five years and I just feel like it’s gone so quickly!"
Antonio has made a habit of writing his name in West Ham history, scoring the first Premier League goal at London Stadium and becoming the first Hammer to notch four times in a Premier League game when he scored all four in the victory at Norwich.
Now, he is the first player to lift a Player of the Month award for July and he is delighted to keep adding those moments to the list.
He added: "I think I’m drawing top with the most headed goals in a calendar year; the first to score [an away goal] at the new White Hart Lane, first West Ham player to score four goals in a Premier League game.
"I think there’s more but I can’t remember! I’m going to do a pub quiz with all the questions about me!"
The Hammers ended the season strongly as a team, tasting defeat just once in the final seven games and Antonio is determined to keep that going into the new campaign.
"As a team we kind of shut things down and stopped conceding goals," he added. "In the first couple of games we conceded two goals in both, so we stopped that and we started creating more chances in the games – even in the games we didn’t win we had loads of chances. So you could see we were more of a team going forwards and defending [and we've got to take that into next season]."