PA Sport

Michail Antonio prefers to wing it but is happy as long as West Ham win

Michail Antonio prefers to wing it but is happy as long as West Ham win
By PA Sport

01/12/2016 at 13:01

West Ham's Michail Antonio admits his favourite position is on the wing but says he is happy with his current role under Slaven Bilic.

Antonio played right-back at times last season but struggled there against Chelsea on the opening day and has since been moved further forward.

The Hammers have deployed a back three in recent matches and Antonio has played right wing-back, where he can put his attacking talents to better use.

The 26-year-old has scored six goals already this season, making him West Ham's top scorer so far.

"My favourite position is playing on the wing. I prefer to play left wing, that's my favourite role," said Antonio, speaking at an event to showcase the new Facebook-owned Oculus Touch controllers.

"I would like to be a winger in a four, like a 4-4-2, but right now I'm playing wing back and playing well so I just have to take it and keep going.

"I haven't spoken to the manager about it. I don't feel the need because since we've changed it we've been doing well.

"I played right back but we've changed to 3-5-2 and we've done well since so I can't go to the manager and say 'can you change the formation just to suit me?' It's one of those things.

"I'm a team player. I played right back last season for half the season and now I'm playing wing-back but I'm scoring goals, I'm playing well so I can't really complain."

West Ham have endured a disappointing start to the season and sit just a point above the relegation zone ahead of Saturday's game at home to Arsenal.

There were signs of encouragement, however, in their last-gasp 3-2 defeat at Tottenham and then a 1-1 draw away to Manchester United last weekend.

Antonio believes Bilic bears little responsibility for the team's poor position in the table.

"You see he is very passionate but he's a person you always feel you can go and speak to," Antonio said.

"When we were losing and things weren't going well, he sat us all down and said, 'I can't put it down to your performances because we've been playing well. It's down to individual mistakes so what can I do to stop these mistakes?'

"But there's nothing he can do because we're human. Hopefully the mistakes just won't come week after week now."

After Arsenal, Bilic's men face a crucial month against teams at both ends of the table.

A difficult trip to Liverpool is followed by games against fellow strugglers Burnley, Hull and Swansea before they finish the year away to champions Leicester.

"It's been a very difficult start especially after the season we had last season," Antonio said.

"We never thought we would be in the position that we are. The lucky thing is everyone is beating everyone so if we go on a good run we'll be back up to where we feel we should be.

"We're showing the resilience we have and that we are a threat. Now in the second half of the season we're going to pick up and keep going.

"It's the right time, it's a time where we can show it. We've had Tottenham, Man United and now we've got Arsenal at the weekend and then Liverpool.

"These are the games where we need to perform and show what we can do."

:: Michail Antonio was talking at an event to showcase Facebook-owned Oculus' new Touch controllers for its virtual reality headset, Rift in London. Oculus Touch controllers go on general sale at selected retailers in the UK on December 6.

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