By Matt Farr
West Ham winger Michail Antonio is determined to earn a recall to the England side.
The 26-year-old has been in scintillating form this season, scoring six goals in 13 Premier League appearances, and is keen to continue his hard work.
His impressive displays at the start of the campaign caught the eye of former England boss Sam Allardyce, who named Antonio in his debut international squad.
The former Nottingham Forest man retained his place in the squad when interim boss Gareth Southgate replaced the humiliated Allardyce, but Antonio was omitted for the most recent games with Scotland and Spain.
He told Sky Sports: “I know it’s about working hard and playing well enough in the Premier League that it makes it difficult to choose me.”
Southgate later revealed that his omission was due to players returning from injury, and reassured Antonio that he was still in his thoughts.
Antonio added: “I’ve only spoken to him the one time I wasn’t in the squad. He just said I wasn’t in it, that players were back from injury but that if anyone got injured he wouldn’t hesitate to give me a call.”
He also leapt to the defence of Southgate, who despite criticism of his ability to motivate his team, is expected to be named as the next England boss on a permanent basis this week.
Aside from several quality individual displays from the likes of Antonio and Dimitri Payet, West Ham have been largely disappointing in the Premier League this season.
The London club are 16th in the table, just one point clear of the relegation zone, and they have a lot of work to do if they are to reach the heights of last season’s seventh-place finish.
West Ham are next in action against Manchester United in the EFL Cup on Wednesday night.
In other West Ham news, Dimitri Payet has lifted the lid on why the Hammers are struggling this season.