Danny Mills has heaped praise on Michail Antonio after West Ham left St. James’ Park with a point on Sunday.
The former Leeds United and Manchester City defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, suggested that the 30-year-old is invaluable to the Hammers in the relegation battle.
Antonio scored the opener as David Moyes’s side drew 2-2 on Tyneside with the hosts coming from behind twice to rescue a point.
A defensive lapse from Jamaal Lascelles gifted Antonio an opportunity after just four minutes and the striker duly obliged, smashing the ball past a helpless Martin Dubravka.
Mills insisted that attitude is more important than ability in the fight for survival.
“You need fight, spirit and hard work in this situation,” he told Football Insider.
“Antonio gives you that in an absolute abundance.
“He has worked his socks off in these past few games, up front, on his own, chasing lost causes and trying to hold the ball up. He knows that is his job.
“That is what you need. Players with the right attitude. Yes, you need ability but attitude is first and foremost right now.
“The players have got to put themselves on the line and strain every muscle and stretch every sinew to get themselves to safety.”
It was the Hammers striker’s second goal in as many games after his second-half strike against Chelsea helped the Irons to three points in midweek.
The Hammers remain in 16th after the draw but the result sees them put an extra point between themselves and the relegation zone as Aston Villa lost at Anfield.
In other West Ham news, it can be REVEALED that club’s advances for young goalkeeper rejected as new deal is agreed.
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