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Antonio looking forward to restart after learning vital lessons during UK lockdown

PUBLISHED: 12:00 17 June 2020

Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka and West Ham United's Michail Antonio during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London.

Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka and West Ham United's Michail Antonio during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London.

PA Wire/PA Images

West Ham United’s Michail Antonio cannot wait to get back to his day job as the club return to Premier League action against Wolves this weekend, before a midweek trip to Tottenham.

West Ham United's Michail AntonioWest Ham United's Michail Antonio

Antonio admits certain aspects of life in lockdown during the coronavirus pandemic were tough – especially home schooling three young children.

And after seeing his wife give birth to a fourth child recently, Antonio is looking forward to getting back out on the London Stadium pitch this weekend.

“As it’s been such a long break, to get some practice matches in before we go into the season is key, because everything you do in training is not the same as a game,” he told whufc.com.

“To be able to have the game scenario gives us that practice before we go back into the season.

“I’m feeling very good, to be fair. I’m raring to go. Now that we know the season is starting, I just want to start now after all that home schooling!

“It was difficult home schooling and getting time to go for runs, but knowing the season was going to get back on, we just needed to get on top of it and ensure we stayed fit because we knew we weren’t going to have much time to get back into it.

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“It was the hardest thing I’ve done in my life and it made me emotional. Teachers, I appreciate you! They liked PE, obviously, and didn’t like English because of the comprehension and stuff you have to deal with. It brought me back.”

West Ham’s campaign has been on hold since a 1-0 loss at Arsenal on March 7, after which Gunners boss Mikel Arteta tested positive for coronavirus.

Defeat left the Hammers in 16th place, outside the relegation zone on goal difference, and a win for Aston Villa against Sheffield United in the first game of the Premier League restart on Wednesday would see them slip to 17th ahead of the visit of Wolves on Saturday (5.30pm).

And David Moyes’ men will be keen to redress the balance after a 2-0 loss at Molineux in early December.

Antonio added: “Wolves have got quality players and they have been a bit of a bogey side for us, but we believe in ourselves and we have got a quality team here as well, so we’ve just got to go out and do the job.”

It will be a similar story against Spurs, having lost 3-2 at home in November, but Antonio is looking forward to returning to north London after his matchwinning efforts last season.

He added: “Obviously it’s going to be weird without the atmosphere because every time I’ve played against Tottenham the atmosphere has been unbelievable.

“But I’m definitely looking forward to going there. We’ve done quite well against Tottenham and hopefully we can keep that run going.”


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