West Ham winger Michail Antonio admits he needs to take his chance in the first team after finding it a struggle to get a starting place.

Following a £7million move from Championship outfit Nottingham Forest on deadline day in the summer, Antonio failed to start for the Hammers in their first 12 games.

Read more: Slaven Bilic says victory was down to his players

However, since being selected in the side due to the injury crisis at Upton Park he has been a revelation and in his latest game – a 2-1 victory over Southampton – the midfielder picked up the man of the match award and scored his first goal for the Irons.

Although he still doesn’t know how he managed to score, Antonio is still claiming the honours and believes it represents the luck that the east Londoners have been looking for.

Antonio said: “I am definitely claiming it. I have taken it down on my chest and cut into the box and I was about to shoot when I got a push in the back. I would have been claiming the penalty.

"But as I have looked up, I think Fonte was about to clear it and it has hit me on the forehead and managed to lob the keeper.

"It was painful and I am still sore from it, but I will take it.

“The last few games we have got so many draws. We had three 0-0 draws and then, in the last game, we finally managed to score, but they equalised for another draw.

"We went behind and we had to show some character to get back into it to get the three points.”

The Boleyn Ground outfit performed disappointingly in the first 45 minutes as the Saints dominated proceedings and could have put the game to bed.

Slaven Bilic's half time team talk made the difference, according to Antonio.

He said: “The boss just said basically we are going to forget that half ever happened.

"What we are going to do is get out there and show some character because we didn’t show any in the first period.

"We came out and changed things with Lanzini in the hole and Carroll up top so that when we do knock it long, he can challenge and win the headers and we are going to pick up the second balls, because we need to show that we can fight.

“Second half we came out and showed what we could do and managed to get the three points.”

Earlier in the season, because Antonio wasn’t getting into the West Ham team, missing person picture surfaced on social media with his face in the spotlight.

However, the 25-year-old declared that he had seen the image on Twitter and was not taking it to heart.

“I see it as banter,” said Antonio. “I am very laid back and to be honest, for the first three months I was a missing person and I can accept that.

"You can’t take banter out of football, it wouldn’t be the same.”

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