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Managing Michail Antonio’s fitness is ‘really difficult’, says West Ham manager David Moyes

Jack Rosser
·2-min read
 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

David Moyes says managing Michail Antonio's game time will be "really difficult" for West Ham with the talisman being his only senior striker.

Antonio made his first Premier League start since November against Burnley on Saturday and scored the game's only goal inside 10 minutes.

The 30-year-old has a history of hamstring problems and has suffered another two injuries already this season, but transforms the way the Hammers play when fit. The club are looking to bring in a replacement for Sebastien Haller as support following his sale to Ajax but have failed with a number of early bids for targets, including Sevilla's Youssef En-Nesyri, who is out of their price range.

With games coming thick and fast Moyes has little option but to play Antonio, though the West Ham boss is confident the forward is managing himself well and has another gear to hit if he stays fit.

"It is really difficult for us at the moment," said Moyes. "But I think if anything Mick has been managing himself in the games well. I don't think he is at full tilt at the moment, I think he is doing well, but I know there are another couple of gears for him to go into. I think he is protecting himself slightly at the minute but he is an important part of the team for us, as you saw with his goal on Saturday.

"He got us the result, so we have got to be careful with him, but we also want to win games and we want to keep moving forward, so we will try and get Micky ready for the game. I think it is a really quick set of games for lots of clubs and we are no different to the others."

Moyes is also interested in Stade de Reims striker Boulaye Dia while Bournemouth's Joshua King is an option, though he sits further down the list of targets.

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